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Roots and Wings

Dr. Helen Johnson

30 Jan 2018

As we properly enter the new year (the first few weeks are just practice, ok?) and we do the inevitable...

As we properly enter the new year (the first few weeks are just practice, ok?) and we do the inevitable inventory of our lives, I thought we should do a little review of the two most important aspects of life: our roots and our wings. The idea of ‘roots and wings’ came from something my mother was given when I left home for University: it was a picture with the caption:

‘There are two things we should give our children: one is roots and the other is wings’

Except when we grow up we need to learn to give these things to ourselves – so I thought I would help you along because self-parenting can be hard work let’s face it. But what does it mean to speak of ‘roots’ and ‘wings’? It has nothing to do with ‘more Red Bull, less hair dye’ as one imaginative soul suggested… Well, definitely not more Red Bull because that will keep you up all night and it’s winter so we should all be hibernating… Having roots and wings is actually at the core of what I do.  Having roots is about feeling more grounded, strong and stable and being more connected to yourself, others and your environment. Having wings is about having a sense of imagination, possibility, movement and flow in your life. It means to be able to both explore and reach your potential.

So how can each of the Goddesses help with developing these two aspects of your life? Well, for a start, they can direct you in terms of what things to consider as you review your goals for the year ahead:

Athena: (warrior, civilization, intellect, independence, fatherworld, career)

Athena rules your mind and helps you to make sense of the world. Does your way of thinking serve you? Are you holding onto beliefs that keep you constrained? She is also concerned with career and progress. Are you are making the most of your potential and abilities? And let’s not forget, she is a warrior. In what ways do you need to stand your ground and speak up for what is fair? Are you stable? Do you have a sense of independence and strength?

Artemis: (nature, wilds, athletic, adventurous, environment, animals, solitude)

Artemis wants you to get out of your head and back into your body. In what ways are you physically expressing yourself? When are you in nature? She is your wild side, unfettered, free. Is there a new adventure you have been meaning to embark on? Are you allowing yourself enough freedom? Artemis is also the huntress. Are you protecting yourself enough? Are you actively ensuring that your needs are met? On the other hand, are there ways in which you need to let down your defences 

Aphrodite: (love, sexuality, beauty, romance, arts)

Aphrodite, first and foremost wants you to have pleasure in your life. What do you get pleasure from? Are you making time for this? She is also concerned with sex and beauty but not in the commercial sense. Are you owning and celebrating these on your terms? As the Goddess of the heart, Aphrodite asks us to examine our beliefs and actions. What is your heart trying to tell you? Are you listening? She is all about feeling connected. Are your relationships satisfying? Balanced? Loving?

Hera: (marriage, partnerships, power, leadership)

Hera is a woman of influence and power. Do you feel heard? Are you comfortable stepping into your own power?  Taking the lead? Hera is also concerned with making purposeful connections and with supporting those around her. Do you have a sense of community? Are there ways of getting involved or building better structures around you? How can you support those you care about to fulfil their own potential? Do the people in your life lift you up or drag you down

Persephone: (underworld, death, mystical, spirit)

Ahhhh Persephone. Sometimes when she shows up she is the last person we want to see because of her connection to loss, fear, and darkness. Are you avoiding painful feelings? Are you able to let go? Can you cultivate acceptance? What lessons can you learn? On the other hand, Persephone also represents our spiritual side. Does your belief system operate from love or fear? Do you have habits or practices that nourish your soul?

Demeter: (earth mother, nurture, reproduction)

A thriving Demeter knows how to balance giving and receiving. In what way are you balancing this in your own life? If you are giving or receiving too much, can you stop and allow yourself to try the opposite? Demeter also represents the way we care for and look after ourselves. Are you nurturing your mind, body and soul? Are you being kind to yourself? Are you respecting the vulnerable part of yourself? And finally, if you do care for others, in what ways do they need help to develop roots and wings?

The above questions help to address the different ways in which we can cultivate a sense of freedom, strength, and balance in our lives. To feel grounded but also to have a sense of expansion and possibility. The answers may serve to illuminate the different aspects of your life that need change or attention, as well as the things that satisfy and uplift you.

If you would like to explore these further and actually take action over the next year then please get in touch about my 6-week Goddess course.

May you have roots to sustain you and wings to fly…

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