WAYWARDMUSE
This is the story of my waywardmuseness, or as I put it on my previous site,
The Phenomenology of a Waywardmuse
For those who may not know, phenomenology is a way of looking at life through the perspective of phenomena. According to the dictionary, it is a system and movement founded by Husserl that places primary importance on the description of phenomena and the details of conscious experience, without recourse to explanation, metaphysical assumptions, and traditional philosophical questions.

My understanding and usage of the term comes from the brilliant and controversial psychiatrist R. D. Laing. He was the original pioneer of a philosophy/psychology called existential phenomenology which studies concrete human existence rather than behavior. It prioritizes our experience of free choice and/or action in concrete situations in a relational manner. It focuses on describing the nature of experience and goes even farther insisting that experience itself is of sufficient evidence. It lays the foundation for what consciousness studies became in the 21st century which I believe will eventually envelop all science because it recognizes that an experiential perspective of reality is (w)holistic - integrating the objective with the subjective and excluding nothing - making all ways the only way - always.

Now onward to wayward:

To me, in a practical sense, “wayward” means just not the way most people go. Dictionary.com defines it thus:

  • turned or turning away from what is right or proper; willful; disobedient: a wayward son; wayward behavior
  • swayed or prompted by caprice; capricious: a wayward impulse; to be wayward in one's affections
  • turning or changing irregularly; irregular: a wayward breeze
More common definitions:

  • Deviating from what is desired, expected, or required, especially in being disobedient or in gratifying one’s own inclinations: “a teacher taking pains with a wayward but promising child” (George Orwell)
  • Difficult or impossible to manage, control, or keep in order; a wayward strand of hair
  • Going somewhere not intended or desired; a wayward golf shot; a wayward courier
  • Following no clear pattern; unpredictable: “events that were often thought to be wayward, capricious, and inexplicable” (Marq de Villiers)
  • Resistant to guidance or discipline (Alexa)
Every other word in the English language that has “ward” on the end of it is indicative of direction and usually direction in a positive sense. Backwards is going back. Forward is going for something. As a suffix it comes from Old English, Saxon, and Norse roots that generally infer a notion of “turning toward.” So with backwards, you’re turning toward the back. With homeward you’re turning toward home, and so forth. Almost any word ending with this suffix is interpreted in this positive context EXCEPT for wayward. I searched until my fingers were numb but I never could find a decent explanation for this discrepancy. If we break it into its component parts:

“WAY” is a noun defined like this:

  • a road, path, or highway affording passage from one place to another
  • an opening affording passage: This door is the only way into the attic
  • space to proceed: cleared the way for the parade
  • opportunity to advance
The Online Etymology Dictionary says it comes from the Old English/Saxon/German root “weg” meaning road; path; course of travel; room; space; freedom of movement. Figuratively, it means “course or habits of life regarding moral, ethical, or spiritual choices.”

The same source says that around the year 1200 c.e. way became short for away like quite a ways off; way out; far off; way back or a long time ago; also, way off - meaning quite wrong.
The current day slang as in “way cool” grew out of this usage meaning “very” or “extremely.” In addition, “way to go” as an encouragement phrase is short for “Yes - that’s the way to go!”

Following that logic, putting “way” and “ward” together would mean to go toward the way or for the way — that it would be an extremely good thing to be wayward, but that’s not what the dictionary says. No, it defies all common sense. As close as I could get to discerning this word’s origin and history was this: In the late 14th century, (a) awei-ward (adv. & pred. adj.), also awei-wardes was a shortening or conversion of awei which meant to go in a different direction, away; to the side, aside, to look aside or away, to turn aside, or to simply “vanish.” Someone put the letter "a" in front of "way" making it antithetical to its original meaning.

So turning away or aside became an aberration of the way without ever describing what the way really was to begin with. Perhaps turning aside from the way was really going the right way instead of the wrong way - a course correction so to speak — thus making all ways the one way and one way every way always. See where I’m going?

When I was a teenager, I came up with my own truthism about truth: Most truth is in the opposite of what you expect.

In the last decade, many folks are starting to see “the way” as I see it. I don’t believe there is any “one way” any more than “all ways” are without consequence. In other words, it all goes back to the perspective of phenomenology that deals with the sanctity of free will, choice, and awareness.

John Garret LoPorto wrote the WAYSEER MANIFESTO which describes one experience of “the Way.” If you follow it, you are definitely “wayward.”

Recently, Alana King, a filmmaker, made a documentary called WAYWARD which sprouted a series called “Wayward Sisters." In Alana’s words, this series is meant to inspire women and young girls to believe they can be brave and strong as well as emotional and caring, and that their bodies are not their most valuable asset. She says, “It can show girls like me, who don’t feel like they belong, that being off the beaten path, being Wayward, is okay.” The show also vows to show middle-aged women as imperfect, beautiful, badass, and inspirational role models for younger girls. Thus was born the characters Kim and Briana’s way strong - way fierce - WAYWARD campaign.

Because it was 99.9% probable that the perversion of the meaning of the word “wayward” was born of a man - not a woman - the term also characterizes a strong trend in feminist thinking about its reclaiming and redefining in terms of power, strength, and authenticity a la Mary Daly and Jane Caputi - authors of the feminist bible and masterpiece: Webster’s First New Intergalactic WICKEDARY of the English Language. But in all those 300 pages of brilliant word weaving - “wayward” is missing! Those wicked wayward sisters recounted, reclaimed, and re-conjured almost every other word that’s been misappropriated by patriarchy, but not that one. Bad mistake. But not fatal. . .

WAYWARDMUSE to the rescue!

From here on out - LET IT BE KNOWN that WAYWARD means — going toward “THE WAY” - however you understand it - like in the fine tradition of existential phenomenology where EXPERIENCE reigns supreme, as in my case. It’s a highly individual AND universal thing - as in the Hermetic Axiom - as above, so below - as within so without - and vice versa and so on.

To me, a waywardmuse is an integrator of polarities and a shape shifter; an alchemist and a shaman — an occultist and a mystic. One of the chief characteristics of a waywardmuse is the ability to accept and appreciate the finer more subtle and not so subtle expressions of paradox in our lives because she’s HAD TO in order to become what she is. It’s a medial quality resulting in a medial woman who treads lightly on the threshold of shadow and light realizing they are opposites in seeming only — a gradient of experience and ever higher arcs of evolutionary spirals. This gives her a tremendous power to inspire and be inspired which brings us to the definition of “MUSE.”

First of all, let me be clear: ALL inspiration is divine. There is no division between sacred and secular — spirit or matter. It is ONE force manifesting as many substances. A gradient, remember? This visionary capacity relies on what Buddhists call “sacred outlook” or as the Qabalists put it, “I see the beauty of the divine expression in all things great and small.” But again - remember - divine is not a noun - it is an adverb. It is how we do it — not what we do. The WAY we see it — not the way itself.
All the way to Heaven is Heaven. For has He not said, I am the Way?
St. Catherine of Siena
It's seeing through the eyes of "Christ" or the "Angel" but not really. It's more like letting the VISION see through you. It's the SEEING itself or the experience of seeing. Do you really see what you see? Do you see through what you see? Are you seeing? See?

MUSE:

As a noun, one of the nine daughters of Zeus that protect an art; a source of inspiration. As a verb, to ponder or reflect deeply. That’s what Alexa says as do most dictionaries. That’s pretty explanatory - literally and allegorically. You can act as a muse and be-mused all at the same time. I am thoroughly and blissfully be-mused wiith Mary Daly and Jane Caputi’s reclamation:
Muse: n [derived fr. L. Musa, fr. Gk. Mousa; prob. akin to Gk. mnasthai to remember - Webster’s] : the guiding Genius/Demon of a Musing woman; a woman in Touch with her Creative Spirit, her Self; one who Re-members/releases harmonious waves of meaning, so that New Archaic Words can be heard, spoken, and sung.

Musing: [muse v “archaic: to become astonished: WONDER, MARVEL” - Webster’s] : Marveling and Be-Laughing with astonishment at man’s mysteries/misteries; Wonderlusting: participating in the Unfolding of Metamysterious Creation.

Need I say more?

As stated in my bio on my namesake website, waywardmuse.com was born with the new millennium: Way back in 2000, a loyal fan follower of my metaphysical articles suggested I turn my series into a book. The name just came to me — I don’t know why. As often as these things happen, we don’t always know at first. But eventually it became clear. The symbol on the home page of that first website was:
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A warrior woman riding Pegasus. Pretty good description of me at the time. But the final page of that website presaged a reawakening:
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Like Stormborn Daenarys in Game of Thrones - I became obsessed with dragons and gave birth to four little ones who became my protectors and followed me everywhere. Now you can interpret that however you want. But if you read my book, you will begin to understand that this symbolism encapsulates so much more than meets the eye. The current symbol in the background is temporary but sufficient. Still, its colors and symbols are deeply realized and deliberate because this waywardmuse is a mystic AND an occultist remember. One day I might spell it all out but enough for now. Besides, it would never be the complete picture. . .
Who or what I am as far as they are concerned, is not necessarily, or thereby, “me”, as far as I am concerned. I am presumably “what” they are describing, but not their description. I am the territory, what they say I am is their map of me. What or where, is the territory?
R. D. Laing
He also said, “Experience is man’s invisibility to man. . .” and “No one can begin to think, feel, or act now except from the starting point of his or her own alienation. . .” or what I call “ego shells of separation.” But spiritual aspirants are trained to know that this “alienation” is only seeming, but it is real nonetheless for it is the picture that we have drawn for now! As truly creative artists of the miracle (or illusions) of Life, we must take proper credit and go from there, or the need for words would not exist. Quoting further from Laing:
Words in a poem, sounds in movement, rhythm in space, attempt to recapture personal meaning in personal time and space from out of the sights and sounds of a depersonalized and dehumanized world. They are bridgeheads into alien territory. They are acts of insurrection. Their source is from the Silence at the center of each of us...

Existence is a flame which constantly melts and recasts our theories. Existential thinking offers no security, no home for the homeless. It addresses no one except you and me. It finds its validation when, across the gulf of our idioms and styles, we find that in the other’s communication an experience of relationship established, lost, destroyed, or regained. We hope to share the experience of a relationship, but the only honest beginning, or even end, may be to share the experience of its absence.
R. D. Laing
To that end or beginning or somewhere in between — here we are. This is a threshold into the world as I see it. The links below will take you to my other websites - places where you may experience a cornucopia of other wondrous waywardmusings. Do you dare enter? Whatever you choose, enjoy, be-mused, and be loved with infinite blessings.

Thank you and happy trails!
Judy
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ARIZONA
ARTWARE

Here are my beautiful galleries of photographs featuring Arizona Sonoran Desert landscapes, skyscapes, and wildlife in its natural setting. All these pictures are available in prints suitable for framing, and a wide array of personal accessories and items of home decor. You certainly will not find this
Arizona Artware
anywhere else!
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JUDY
KENNEDY

My namesake website showcases my book and other writings. Bio and background are also here. My book is available wherever books are sold!

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WAYWARDMUSE
YOUTUBE
CHANNEL

ARIZONA SONORAN DESERT WILDLIFE
& MORE


I am one of the original YouTube pioneers (since 2006) with over 1000 subscribers and 300 videos - there is something here for every nature lover and MORE!

Also my most recent
music serves as the soundtracks to many of my videos!
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WIZARD OF OZ
MYSTERIES


"It really was no miracle - what happened was
just this. . ."
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ARIZONA
SONORAN
DESERT

The Sonoran Desert (COMING SOON) is the United States' most ecologically diverse desert - especially in the state of Arizona. This is the place to learn all about it through seamless integration of my artistic imagery, anecdotes, and other information. My popular Gila Monster page on the previous site will have a brand new look along with similar pages on all the fascinating inhabitants of this wondrous place where I'm so fortunate to live!
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DANCES
WITH
CLOUD
KACHINA

It's true. I'm really a cloud fairy - otherwise known as a DAKINI or sometimes deva. It doesn't matter what you call me because labels are like leaves blowing in the wind. Still, if you want to get to know this side of me, I invite you to watch my Dances with Cloud Kachina as captured through my wondrous eyes and unique camera lenses here. . .
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