Friendship | Love | Inner Knowing | The Mystic
Before the idea to start the Modern Muse Collective officially took shape in our minds, the four of us had a group Facebook messenger thread called The Goddess Soup. (Named for the time we talked about life’s mysteries in a hot tub.) It was a place for check-ins, gifs, and of course, monthly tarot card readings. Nowadays we get to choose from Jess’s multiple card decks when the time comes- Ascended Masters, Sacred Geometry. It all started, however, with animals. A spirit animal, I learned, acts as a guide to the person who receives it, or offers protection to a person on their specific journey. One’s spirit animal shares their traits, a spirit they embody, or simply tells them something they need to hear.
A cat represents friendship. A deer, love. A goose, inner knowing, And a polar bear, the mystic.
Many months, and many card draws later, these first pulls are still what sticks in my mind when I think of what this group of women means to me. Funnily enough, they are the same traits that make The Modern Muse Collective so unique and special in my heart – Friendship, Love, Inner Knowing, and an exploration of the mysterious.
There is friendship at the core of our collective. It’s the foundation of what we started, and I believe it gives us an edge. Even before social distancing, we felt that true community and belonging was something women could use a lot more of. I have found a great amount of inspiration in these three friendships. They’ve helped me to realize that a feeling of community is in fact possible, and that it did in fact matter a great deal to my well-being. They’ve helped me realize that community matters a great deal to all of our well-beings.
“Where there is love, there is life.”
“For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.”
“If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
Mahatma Gandhi, Carl Sagan, and RuPaul all chime in on love. Love is life. Love gives meaning to it all. Yet love for ourselves is where we tend to cut corners. Self-inquiry, self-care, and self-love are all things that help fill our cups, solidify our own foundations, and make us stronger and more capable to live authentically and without fear. Love is the driving force behind it all — behind this budding new collective, and in the much grander scheme.
Most of us have experienced a sense of inner knowing. Call it intuition, or a gut feeling. A place in the world, a field of study, a person that feels familiar when you’ve only just met – these can all have a pull on that inner sense of knowing what feels right. I tend to think of it as an inner compass that, for many of us, can take some time to learn how to read. In order to trust our intuition, we have to trust ourselves. Which means spending a little more time getting to know you. I experienced a sense of inner knowing upon meeting each of these women, and the sense that we were being pointed in a direction together was equally strong. We are dedicated to guiding women back to their own inner knowings through not only specific coursework at our retreats, but by simply providing a quiet and supportive place for reflection in a noisy world.
Finally, a mystic is someone who believes in the existence of realities beyond human comprehension, who believes in a world that lies beyond our senses, in the mysterious, and in the unknown. In other words, a mystic is a person who trusts the universe, and is willing to surrender some things to some thing beyond themselves. Inner Knowing combined with a trust in the mysterious, to me, is not a contradiction, but a summation of the skills I’ve learned over the past year. They are skills that complement each other well in this stage of my life, and topics of discussions I can’t wait to have at The Surrender Project retreat. There will likely always be an element of exploring the unknown at our workshops- be that through astrology or through the work of spiritual medium. While we will provide many real world takeaways from our gatherings, there will also be a part of the weekend that will honor these mysteries and challenge us to let go of the traditional ways we seek answers.
This month, April 2020, was supposed to be our first in-person meeting to get some planning (and some hot tubbing) done for the four of us. With myself in Chicago, Maggie and Jess in New Brunswick, Erin in Prince Edward Island, and the whole world at home, our meeting proved impossible – as did our group photo shoot.
Enter the wonderfully talented illustrator and artist, Amarylis Hibon (@amylilistudio) of Luxembourg. I found her work scrolling Instagram and fell in love with her distinct style. Her portraits stood out to me not only for their beauty but for their messaging. Her portraits of women have a modern flair, as well as a goddess vibe – perfect for the Soup. She created this amazing illustration that captures our spirits, our spirit animals, and the spirit of what we’ve built together.