Gestare Art Collective

Dark Moon MA 'dea regeneratrix'

Monday August 21, 2017

The 'dea regeneratrix' or the goddess of death and new life. Stiff and frozen pose, often this type of figurine is mostly found in graves to regenerate life. The forearms lie horizontally over the breast and the hands often touch the elbows, symbolizing the closed circle of life. Often the arms hang flat and still alongside the body. Mouth and eyes are closed.

Black still standing lady, eyes closed, no mouth, she no longer breathes. She is found in "Sanctuary of the Leopards' Catal Hoyuk Turkey (6000-5500 BC).

The practice date fell on the auspicious occasion of a total solar eclipse visible across North America on August 21, 2017, the first since 1979. The intent of death and new life in this pose echoing in the celestial event as our world fell into shadow waiting for the moment of regeneration.

That day all along the path of the eclipse, skies darkened perceptibly making it easy to understand how strange and fearful this would have been for cultures whose lives were marked by the cycling of the seasons and messages from the cosmos.

The earliest indications of man paying attention to solar eclipse events were markings made by tomb builders of 3340 BCE on stones near the tomb known as Loughcrew, Ireland. The ancient Chinese believed a dragon was eating the sun and that making a loud banging noise they would scare it away and save the Emperor.

Medwyn's Pose

Witnessing the eclipse on my way through the Rocky Mountains the road led me down through the foothills onto the plains to find embrace in the soft undulations of land in the Ghost River Valley. A retreat place for inquiry and devotional practice was home for the next four days.

It had been a long drive and I welcomed the opportunity to sink into the Dea Regeneratrix pose at first standing with my arms hanging down beside my body, then prone with my arms folded across my ribcage. Eyes and mouth closed my breath shallow through my nostrils, the quiet still space of death fell over me. I was aware of a certain relief as I released all the tension in my body down into the ground beneath me feeling the welcoming earth ready with arms outstretched for my final rest. Such a peaceful state, deep into non-cognitive other consciousness. I sensed the waters washing the thoughts from my mind as the river flowing beside me soothed and cleansed me. In stillness I waited resisting the illusion of manmade time/space as the measure of my death rest.

I became aware of the sun warming me, bringing me back and a stirring began deep in my sacrum, the stirring of life. These last months since the MA Grieving pose of late May have been a time of change and turmoil, hard decisions, grief and loss, a time of hope for renewal, and this retreat place was offering me an in-between space to contemplate the nature of my regeneration. My ears began to hear a different sound in the river, the gurgling of tumbling stones as the water ran shallow around the curve towards the still pond below. Sounds of living green beings around me drew me up into the desire for life, the river called me to a blessing and I walked down, took off my shoes, waded in the cool pool, dipping my hands into the sacred waters receiving their touch on my face as a blessing for my regeneration. Leaving the river returning up the hill to join the other human beings, I carried a lightness within me, gratitude for the gifts of MA.


Nane's pose with Barbara and Tannis on the day of the solar eclipse, Aug 21, 2017.

At first - lying down and tuning into the sense of the life around me as i hear the voices of my daughters downstairs, one who is whistling a song in happy way while she prepares food. I sense how our ancestral mothers are there with us, with her, there - like a subtle flowing energy stream that feeds and undergirds all the living, all our living - the ancestors are there in Shanti's laughter and whistling song. Her song is so sweet! She whistles: Here come the sun, little darlin', here comes the sun and I say it's alright....

As I lie there, I observe lots of flotsam and jetsam of my life floating by in my head - worries and things at work - or work at home I want to do like sewing projects to start or even finish - then a quiet sense of stillness comes - I focus on that and my breathing - I am yawning a lot which releases things, my belly gurgles, a sign of relaxation, my body systems are coming to rest for a time, peace - then a stillness arrives in the room with my co-regeneratrixes Barbara and Tannis - I sense complete stillness of our 3 bodies attuned - merged to peaceful silence - THEN - the alarm goes off, and what a funny surprise this is!! It's time to get up, just like in the morning - I burst out laughing, just laughing and laughing, thinking that's what its like to die and be reborn, the alarm goes off and you wake up into your next life - you just gotta get up again, arise from deep peaceful silence.

Barbara's MA Pose with Nane´& Tannis on the day of the solar eclipse - August 21, 2017
14 minutes

In the closed upper bedroom of Nané’s house, Tannis, Nané and I join together to enter the MA pose at the time of the solar eclipse in Vancouver, British Columbia. We open the space with sage cleansing and prayer. My pray becomes exhaling “maaaaa,” sounding like the last breath of one who is dying. 

We are enclosed like three sisters in a sarcophagus, a communal tomb. Tannis stands alongside the bed that Nané and I are laying upon. I lay with my arms crossed holding my elbows. It feels important to complete this circle of my arms around my body-- reminding me of the many circles of completion taking place in my life at this time. My feet and toes are pointed upward toward the sky while propped against the wooden bed frame, as are Nané's feet.

I relax and go into a space of nothingness, no thoughts —until I startle, and catch myself as I feel myself falling into sleep - into death? I hold my breath for a long time. I am aware that we have the opportunity, with each cycle of the moon and sun, each day to enter this death pose and to regenerate into life anew each day upon waking. Every day we can let go and renew ourselves. A practice to be conscious of daily.

I am aware of Nané beside me with her slow steady and gentle breathing. She awakes to laughter when the alarm goes off. This pose brings to my awareness the we must allow death in our lives to fully live the personal and the collective experience. The world has had the reminder of this today on this day of the solar eclipse. May we remember. May we remember that what is remembered lives. Nané lights the sweetgrass to welcome in life. 

Tannis MA POSE – Dea Regeneratrix  August 21, 2017

With Barbara and Nané

I am standing with my arms rigid by my side.  Barbara and Nane are lying down with their arms crossed horizontally across their torsos.  Barbara holds her elbows.

Immediately I see a huge white disc and hear a deep humming sound.  The disc is surrounded by the dark. Is it the sun?  It grows larger and I enter.  All is white light and complete stillness.  I begin to feel my belly swelling and my ribs are so stiff I cannot take a breath until I yawn.  I see and become a female figure.  It looks like a  stone carving.  The head has a headdress and the mouth is open with a furnace of flames inside.  My body experiences a swirly vibration as if changing state.  I enter the mouth, then see a female figure arching back with flames coming also from her mouth.  She has a long skirt which trails towards the earth.  She floats upward and arches further until she is a flaming altar over a large pool or container of water.  The flames now hold a body curled on its side in a fetal position.  This body then rises – embers pulled from its navel by a string by a shadowy being drawing it upwards by turning a spool.  She then scatters the sparks which float down to become new life.  Then, in the distance I see mountains and I am in the realm between life and death near the river and the bridge.  This is familiar.  I have been many times.  (It is the place souls go after they die before they cross the bridge to what ever form of afterlife or re-birth they are meant for – this is the tradition I have been taught)  I see a baby crying and pick her up until she calms and find a woman to hold her.  I see shocked wounded people and reassure a frightened elder, asking another being to support her.  I briefly go into the heavens to see if anyone needs guidance to this transition place.  Then I return. I see that the burning altar over the water is the bridge over the river.  The pose ends.

 Thank you Barbara and Nané for inviting me to join you for this amazing experience.


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