Monday, June 2, 2008

Coatlicue - Grief

The following is excerpted exactly from The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky and the illustrations are by Hrana Janto. For more information on their work, please visit the following websites:

Amy Sophia Marashinsky:
You can download the meditations included in the ritual suggestions at

Hrana Janto:


With my head heavy with loss

with my eyes blinded by tears

I wander

unable to rest

unable to find ease

I am dry

my bones

are dust in the desert sun

my heart

ripped out

lies broken on the ground

each step I take in living

tramples it anew

each breath I take in living

ruptures my wounds

how can I bear the unbearable

how can I survive the insurmountable

will my sorrow ever end?

will my loss ever be filled?

will my longing ever cease?


Coatlicue (pronounced co-at'le-kew), or Serpent Skirt, is mother of the Aztec deities. She gets her name because she wears a skirt made of swinging rattlesnakes. She is worshiped as earth mother and life-and-death mother. She found some white-plumed feathers one day and, placing them on her breast, became pregnant. When the other Gods, her children, discovered her pregnancy, they swore to kill her to keep er new offspring from supplanting them. Only her beloved daughter, Coyolxauhqul, the Moon Goddess, warned her mother. Coyolxauhqul was decapitated by the Sun god and the grieving Coatlicue placed her daughter's luminous head in the sky.

Meaning of the Card

Coatlicue is here to help bring you face-to-face with your grief. She is here to tell you that there is no way around grief, there is no place you can hide from grief. The way to wholeness lies in going through your grief. Have you been afraid to face the pain that accepting grief and going through the grief process will bring? Have you been hiding from grief, pretending you are really okay? Perhaps you fear the grief is so great that you will remain in it for the rest of your life. Have you done some of your grieving, but not all of it, so that it catches you unaware in odd moments? Perhaps you are staying in a situation you need to leave, but fear the grief that leaving would engender. It is imperative for your healing process that you grieve. It is time to wail and keen and moan. It is time to ask for support from friends and family. Life is about loss and loss is part of life. The seasons change and all is in a state of transition. Even grief, if fully faced, will finally lesson. In time you will feel stronger and more alive. One day your wounds will fade to scars. Remember that your process takes as long as it needs to take and that everyone's time of grief is different. Coatlicue tells you to feel the grief so the healing can come.

Ritual Suggestion: Drumming Your Grief

You will need a drum with a beater. Do not use your hands, as you could hurt them or, to protect them, not go fully into the emotion.

Find a time and place when and where you will not be disturbed. Sit comfortably with your spine straight. Take a deep breath and release it. Let everything go. Take a deep breath into your womb, the center of your body, and release it. When you feel centered and relaxed, give yourself the space and permission to open to your grief. Find the place in your body where you are holding grief. Is it in your heart? in your lungs? in your solar plexus? If you are visual, open yourself to let images come to you. If you are kinesthetic, allow your body to feel the grief.

This can be a recent grief of a past one. A grief that was never acknowledged or a grief that was only glanced at. You may find that once you open to grief, many griefs will come flooding into you. Or you may find it hard to grasp. Let what comes up, come up, without censoring, without judging. Just accept.

Once you begin to experience the grief, you are ready to drum. It is not important how you sound. It is important that you make sounds. Allow your own grief rhythm to be expressed. Allow yourself to vocalize. Give yourself permission to move or dance or go crazy with grief. Do whatever you need to do. The more you can involve yourself, the more profound and satisfying the experience will be. Let yourself howl and moan and keen and cry. Perhaps your sounds and rhythm will evolve into a specific song that you can sing whenever you need to grieve. Perhaps it will be different for you each time. Do whatever is appropriate for you.

Keep drumming the grief until it changes to something else. Keep going deeper. Ride the frief until it transforms. If this is not the time to do all your grieving, just get your feet wet in the waters of grief now and do more later. Do what is appropriate for you.

When you have drummed your grief and it has transformed, or when you feel you have done what is appropriate for you, put the drum aside. Take a deep breath and release it slowly, inhaling the energy you have raised. Give thanks and praise

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