A River Goddess Runs Through It

I was born in a city on the banks of the great Mississippi river. It was a common playground game to chant out the spelling “em, I, es, es, I, es es, I, pee, pee i” in a rhythmic fashion. We are in a water rich state, and while I’ve never lived on a river, I’ve always honored the importance of it. When I was with the singing group The Idisi, we had a concert on a riverboat on the Mississippi. It seems fitting, now that I’m working in watercolor paint, I should turn my task to honoring the spirit of the waters. The inspiration for this painting idea originally came from the song Sister River Giver by Sasha Butterfly several years ago. It embodies the life giving power of the river, and the history of the Mississippi is a testament to that power. From Wikipedia:

The area of the Mississippi River basin was first settled by hunting and gathering Native American peoples and is considered one of the few independent centers of plant domestication in human history.[47] Evidence of early cultivation of sunflower, a goosefoot, a marsh elder and an indigenous squash dates to the 4th millennium BCE.

That is a long and powerful history to the gift of the River Goddess. In keeping with the first two goddess paintings I did, the Sun Goddess and the Green Goddess, I wanted to include a symbol at her heart. I thought about the river rock that so many people use in their gardens, worn smooth from the flowing water.What better than a beautiful blue cabochon stone, sending off her powerful heart energy into the flowing waters? This is the energy of the Goddess in motion, always flowing and renewing, bringing new life to the banks and the river dwellers themselves. So here she is, the River Goddess as she came to be here at Wyrdhaven Studio.

River Goddess painting by Beth Hansen-Buth

River Goddess painting by Beth Hansen-Buth

We Are the Flow
chant by Shekhinah Mountainwater

Em
We are the flow, we are the ebb,

D     (Em)
We are the weavers, we are the web

It is only fitting to include the chords with the chant, We Are the Flow was one of the first chants I ever learned, and it harkens back to my earliest days exploring what the Goddess means to me. Back then I was discovering all things metaphysical, with no idea where my path would take me, I embarked on the journey as on a river, to see where it would take me. Part of that journey took me to the west coast to the Faeryworlds Festival, where I first heard Sasha Butterfly’s beautiful music. I spent years trying to get my hands on a copy of her CD. She’d gone off to college and CD Baby had lost the file. Finally it became available again, and I got my hands on the CD and it was as beautiful as I remember it being. It brings back memories of the early morning call of the Peacocks on the festival grounds, and the sound of the music floating up to the vendor area where I spent the entire festival in my booth. I’ll leave you with my inspiration.