I pulled out a ten-dollar bill to pay for some last minute groceries, and I noticed it had been stamped on the edge with the information for an escort service, with a phone number and web address. For goodness sakes! The things people put on paper currency.

After I got over my amusement, I got to thinking, and I imagined it had to be a meaningful coincidence. A psychic message perhaps, but from whom?

The “Dark Goddess”, of course. That archetype that dwells within the unconscious of all humans on the planet. So I dug into some of my old collections of useless information to see what I could bring back to the conscious part of my ape’s brain. I figured she wanted me to remember some of my lessons from back in the day.

Then, for no reason at all, Britney Spears and her latest tune pops into my head. I get to thinking this must be part of the message. Then I realize little miss “gimmie more” is carrying the projections of people’s expectations of the Dark Goddess. This goes back to my Escapegoat theory, whereby certain people embody the community’s own repressed qualities so people can mock them and feel better about themselves.

What are the qualities of the Dark Goddess? Well, aside from the obvious (the naughty bits), she personifies instinctual behavior, music and dancing, drunkenness, the pursuit of pleasure, reckless abandon, procreation, madness, self-destruction, illusions over reality, and generic forms of darkness and chaos thrown in for good measure. Sound familiar?

The Dark Goddess is often symbolized by things like the moon and underground tunnels, or personified by supernatural figures like witches and mermaids. You can go all the way up to goddesses like Lilith or Tiamat, and all the way down to famous actresses or femme fatales. It just depends on what you are looking for. Hrm. Famous people. That could easily apply to miss “oops I did it again.”

The obvious interpretation is that the Dark Goddess was reminding me that she’s out there, in the shadows and darkness sometimes, but more than likely in broad daylight without anyone’s knowledge. Britney is out there too, suffering the scarlet letter of people with no guts and nothing going on (we’re all guilty, not just her). The Dark Goddess is out there doing her thing, what am I doing?

That question brings me back to a time when I was an ardent admirer of the Dark Goddess. I gave her a full access pass and a place to live. I drank from dark waters, ate from dark fruits, and lived in the wrong part of town like her. She’s a backdoor girl with a bad reputation, and she ain’t no man’s woman, but she would pay me a visit just the same. The Dark Goddess shares her gifts of regeneration and ecstasy with those who ask, and I asked every day. She would sing to me, you can call me anytime, on my hello-happy-line.

So that’s the message, give her a call. Maybe she misses me, or wonders if I’d forgotten about her. I heard tell once that the edges of the wrong side of town must seem like they plummet into the depths, because anyone who leaves never comes back. I dial the Dark Goddess’s hello-happy-line, and leave a message.

That night, I have one of those vivid and detailed dreams I sometimes get. I’m in a huge labyrinth of a building, a creativity warehouse as one occupant puts it to me. I see every conceivable kind of artist, engineer, architect, editor and student associated with creativity engaged in projects too numerous to mention. Writers working on stories for a magazine, paintings of every conceivable type being painted using experimental techniques or to develop a series for museums or shows. Lithographers, gardeners, graphic artists working on advertising, all in a setting of hallways and rooms littered with toys, decorations and tools of the trade. Whole acting companies work out elaborate blocking of scenery next to rooms where speeches are being given on the future of sculpture. I climb a wooden ladder out of a sauna where rock stars are meditating on new songs, and walk down an aisle of computer-automated typewriters working out a formula for theater performances. Everywhere, there are secret doors, concealed passageways, and understated niches like altars to the making of things for their own sake. Quiet places, loud places, lighted by fireplace or fluorescent bulbs, or sometimes nothing at all. It’s a Willy Wonka Factory of every artist’s dream.

I realize in the dream that I’m looking for my backpack. I’m carrying a sword and wearing a costume from some previous artistic pursuit that I’ve moved away from. I’m looking around, searching, and wandering the place. That’s when I run into the Dark Goddess herself, and I realize the creativity warehouse is hers, she runs it and makes sure that there’s always ideas and play to fertilize the minds and souls of people. She tells me that she called because I left my backpack at her place, and I ought to have it back again. I come out of my dream as if I’d only just closed my eyes, and I write down everything she told me.

The next day, K is at the new computer figuring things out, and I’m working on my book. We have the sliding back door open (with the screen closed) to freshen up the air a bit. Something appears at the top of the screen, and for a moment we both think Frankie has climbed the sliding door to get at a moth or something like that. But it’s a screech owl, trying to get in. It sinks its claws in the screen and stares at us for a moment, then tries to get in again. The owl flies off into the night, without ever having made a sound or damaged the screen, and K and I marvel at the critter visit we just experienced. Totally cool!

Owls are sacred to the Goddess Lakshimi, symbolizing prosperity. They are also animals associated with Athena, and wisdom. In some Native American traditions they are night hunters who see through deceptions and the sorcery of others. Owls often carry the spirits of the ancestors and their messages. But most of all, the screech owl is sacred to Lilith, another aspect of the Dark Goddess.

Yup, that’s the Dark Goddess all right. She’s in your fridge, eating your food.