Full Moon in Cynthia

Wasn’t it a glorious full moon the other night? I took my friend Ali’s advice and lay my crystals out on the window sills to give them a hit of moonglow energy. Here is a tarot card of the moon featuring moon goddess Cynthia. She is sometimes called Diana Cynthia, but most often, Artemis. Cynthia comes from the Greek, from the mountain where Artemis and her twin brother Apollo were born of Greek God Zeus and immortal Leto, on the tiny island of Delos in the Aegean Sea. Zeus as usual was trying to keep his shenanigans secret from his wife Hera.

Hera figured out what was going on and barred Leto from giving birth on any land and because Delos was so tiny and not attached to the ocean bed, Leto was able to deliver her twins there. Later, a temple was erected in Artemis’s honor and Delos became a spiritual center of the ancient world. The name of that mountain in Delos where Artemis and Apollo were born is Cynthus (Kynthos in Greek) and thus the goddess is sometimes given the name Cynthia. You don’t often hear it, that’s for sure. Like Leto herself, Cynthia fades into the background.


A high school course sparked my interested in mythology even before I looked into one of those “what your name means” books and saw to my utter surprise the title “moon goddess” next to my name. I would have thought Cynthia meant “scullery maid” or possibly “milk maid.” Nothing so grand as a goddess. I of course never brought this connection up in college when I studied Greek and Roman literature, history, and philosophy. In academia, the moon goddess is Diana or Artemis. Cynthia is the unnamed one. I was content with that until I read a memoir by Sue Monk Kidd called The Dissident’s Daughter about Kidd’s break with mainstream Christianity in favor of goddess worship. Kidd, like so many before her for thousands of years, took a pilgrimage to Mt. Cynthus in Delos.

As I read of this trip, I felt a yearning to take the pilgrimage myself. But at the time my life was busy with teaching and writing and I never imagined I’d have the resources for such an endeavor. I could only look a little deeper into Cynthia. Pretty much all I know is the name is derived from the mountain and somehow mountain and moon formed a bond that the ancients honored by bestowing Cynthia the title of moon goddess.

I like that Cynthia was a bit elusive; she’s a secret. As Artemis is called the huntress, I too hunted down my namesake through the years, certain only of the fact that I possess a secret goddess name and I should see what I might do to live up to it. I’ve never held a bow and arrow or seen a unicorn. Still, the honor and mystery of my name has grown on me to the point where I suggested to my husband we travel to Greece. To Delos. To climb Mount Cynthus. And to my surprise and gratitude he said yes. I expect I will find something at the top of that mountain, something that has been inside me all along will spring forth and reveal its secret to me.

Either that or I will just have a nice view and tired legs. Oh, and the trip of a lifetime.

Runnin’ Up That Hill

Maybe I’m morbid but I have a habit of thinking doomsday scenarios whenever the slightest hiccup happens in my life. For example the latest episode with my knee buckling and me not being able to walk or stand or wear most of my shoes or practice yoga or dance. My favorite dance is the Twist and I just know my twisted knee would not like it. I sigh to think that the Twist may be firmly in my past.

So that would be the doomsday version. To never do any of those things again. There are other things that are worse than temporarily losing the use of a leg. Losing the use of both legs. Completely. Forever. After all, I’m not even sure this is any big deal. Specialist said wait another week, take it easy, and if the knee doesn’t get better, we’ll do an MRI. Leaving his office, my leg buckled suddenly and I almost did a splat on the asphalt. Thank you 20 years of yoga for helping me keep a wobbly balance in airplane pose. It didn’t look as pretty as this but you get the idea.

Not being able to do everything I want to do right now is messing with my head. It’s only been two weeks. So, one more week of inactivity. I’m trying to look on the bright side. I can still read and write. I simply cannot vacuum or dust or rush about running dozens of errands in a day. I cannot take a walk in the park. I have to keep meals simple and maybe hire a cleaning service, which really, if I’m honest, seems like a perk.

I realize this is all very frivolous,  the silliest part is feeling bereft about not being able to wear my summer sandals, at least the ones with cute heels. Ah well. The worst possible outcome is surgery. I feel pretty confident that I will be able to practice yoga (all the poses, not just airplane) again and yes even dance. The Twist. In heels.

DelosI will climb Mt. Cynthus…which is a very small mountain, more like a hill, really. Greece and the tiny island of Delos is my next big life adventure. A highlight of the Sensational 60s! So this time I’m dropping the doom and gloom as usually it turns out to be nothing and I’m embarrassed for being overly dramatic. I mean, there are worse things than having to buy new shoes. If it comes to that.

A favorite Kate Bush song is my new anthem: “Running up that hill with no problem.”

Saving Grace

I must be sick because I just wrote my post, added photos, and then lost it somehow. So this one will be …I don’t know, because I timed the writing of the previous post just after I took some DayQuil and yep it’s kicking in. Writing while on medication. Not my thing.

So, sick. Yeah, I won’t die or anything, just messed up my special day with Al yesterday. We had plans! Instead of having fun together he got to be my nurse. He’s not great at care-taking, but he did go to the drugstore for me. And he left me alone in my misery. He even cooked his own breakfast.

That was yesterday. Awoke feeling like someone had shoved a boar bristle hairbrush down my throat. Among other sick-person stuff.


Was talking to Owen and Jessica (Yes, Owen talks! You just don’t know what he’s saying.) and they are just getting over colds, too. So, that’s the saving grace. We will all be well for my visit, coming up very soon:) I escaped the flu my students passed around all fall term, I somehow did not succumb when people around me were falling like dominos during the holidays, and I even made it to Alicia’s baby shower in good health.

But last week, Al said “I feel a little…I think I have a head cold or something.” alarm bells rang in my ears. Al does not get sick. And if he does, he does not mention it. He only said something because he didn’t kiss me goodnight, and he didn’t want me to think anything was wrong. Trying to spare me his germs, but no luck. Another good thing about this cold or flu or whatever it is, Al said it lasted two days, tops. He said the first day was the worst.

I do feel a little bit better today. Dreaming of Greece. Sipping tea. Thinking of making a pot of soup. And for sure a third saving grace is feeling this bad reminded me to treat myself better. I’m booking a spa day very soon.  Because you know, I deserve it.