I am Hygieia, Goddess of Health and Healing.
Not so very long ago people revered me and danced, dreamed and prayed with passionate fervor in my name.
And now? My sister called me up yesterday, “Hey girl have you noticed how people are using your name these days? Check out this link.”
Hmmmm…Hygiene. Sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene rules. A list of rules in my name. Do this, this and this. Do not do that, that or that. Hygiene: antiseptic, clean, controlled, sterile, sanitized. They’ve named damn sleep hygiene rules after me that don’t even seem to work because sixty million people in the United States alone can’t sleep!
Let me remind you who I really am. I am Hygieia, Goddess of Health and Healing. I lived for centuries with my twin sister Panacea in the temples of our father, Asclepius, the doctor god. People traveled for weeks to our mystery rites to dance, pray and sleep among the priestesses and serpents, They came seeking guidance, miracles and transformation, awakening in the morning reborn, eager to face life with new vigor and vision. Our temples await you each night. You may enter any time.
Let’s go back even further, before the time of Asclepius: I am Hygieia, left breast of Rhea, Great Mother of All Beings. As we roam the earth’s sea islands and deep forests and vast plains, life-giving fluid pours from us–healing, soothing, nourishing and revitalizing.
Sleep with us and be reborn into eternal kinship with all creatures. Sleep with us in the temple of breast, mountain, ocean, belly. Savor here the messy, rich, potent sleep of body and earth. It is not a regulated, sterilized sleep. You will not find it in a sleep lab. It may just be the sleep your restlessness longs for.
~Lea Bayles, We’Moon