Goddesses in the Dust: Tyche, or Daring to Take Creative Risks

An archaeologist unearths the divine feminine, one archetype at a time...

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about taking creative risks. 

It's funny how, once you start taking risks in your writing life, the desire to be fearless spills over into the rest of your life. 

I have a favorite quote by Mark Twain that I've placed above my desk, where I can see it everyday:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones that you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

As I get older, the need to feel like I've got everything under control has abated. Truth is, I never had everything under control - that's just an illusion we comfort ourselves with. While I still value being organized in my work life (it's hard for writers to produce any work if they aren't) it's actually pleasant to get what I can done every day and to not fret over the rest. My former self would be anxious if the house wasn't completely neat and clean; often I've found that being uncomfortable with our surroundings is just a projection of our inner emotional lives. As in the words of the ancient philosopher Hermes Trismegistus,

 As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.

Tyche holding the god of wealth Ploutos as a child, 2nd century A.D., Istanbul Archaeological Museum
Tyche, the Greek goddess of luck and chance, was often depicted carrying a horn of plenty, filled with the wealth of the universe, with her at all times. Occasionally she would tip the horn upside down and spread the wealth to anyone who would meet her on her way.  She is also known as the goddess of taking risks, and her battle cry sticks with me:

 Fortune Favors the Bold

Is it possible that - if we take more risks on our own creative behalf - that the universe will reward that risk taking?

If Tyche were here, she would answer with a resounding yes.


  1. I'm with Tyche! Before I read your last sentence, the skin on my arms was running with chill bumps and I thought 'YES!'

    'Sail away from the safe harbor.'

    stood out to me on stilts. I fully believe fortune favors the bold. And you wanna know something strange? I actually believe, along those lines of 'I brought me here' that I am now neatly installed in a small apartment that has everything my husband, daughter and I need--and more importantly nothing we don't--so that I can just get to work. I completely understand what you express regarding getting done what you can every day and not fretting. The benefit of being around for a while is that we learn what the time and energy wasters are.

    I salute you on your journey, I think you are very much on the right track and I walk in spirit with you. Also, the tiny pom! :) :)

    1. I appreciate what you say about "everything I need and nothing we don't". That is profound wisdom right there, Suze. With that kind of awareness I doubt you let much waste your time and energy and I vow to work on the same. xx

    2. p.s. Yes - the tiny pom - thank you for your help with that! From now on I'm going to refer to you as Our Lady of the Favicon!! :))

  2. I have found the same kind of thing, amanda. I am much more socially active in retirement than I was while working. Of course, I have time now, so that is part of the difference. "Idle No More" is very engaging.

    There was a time in my life when I was considered a potential threat to Canada's peace and security, and "THEY" were keeping an eye on me. Maybe I can own that now. (Although I'm really not that dangerous; really, I'm not!)

    As for fortune favouring the bold, I'm not so sure. The bold are often the first to be killed. But let's not dwell on that too long.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

    1. "They" were keeping an eye on you as a potential threat to Canada's peace and security? You subversive bear, you — how exciting!! I sense a story coming on.....perhaps a future blog post?

  3. i love that quote too amanda, a dear friend that has since passed, wrote it and illustrated it for me and the power of it grows with each year. i think it goes with growing older too, nothing ventured, nothing gained. i love what you've said about giving up control, because we never really had it in the first place.
    xxxxxxx lori

  4. Oh Amanda, I just love this post. I hope it is somewhere on the sidebar, so I can pull it up from time to time to re-read. Just perfect. And, remember this, most hugely successful people will tell you that they learned more from their failures than their successes and would gladly take the failures over the successes. Coretta Scott King was addressing a class of graduates years ago, and started her speech with, "Failure is falling upward." I've always remembered that.
    So glad I found your blog and loved hearing from you.

    1. That is brilliant, Donna - 'failure is falling upward'. If you think of it that way, it makes the risk of trying something new so much less fear-inducing.......almost enjoyable!

  5. Sail away, Amanda. I know you can do it and I think you're ready for it. I love the Mark Twain quote. It makes complete sense.

  6. YES! I absolutely agree that you need to take risks! Shift the energy and let the universe know that you are ready and you will be rewarded! Best of luck dear Amanda x

  7. An inspiring post, Amanda, and the comments are too. I wonder if this kind of wisdom comes with age? It feels so natural now not to worry about the things you mentioned that you no longer worry about as well. We are stretched by our experience, and when we begin to see that we don't fall off a cliff when we take authority and follow the flow of our life, it changes everything else.

  8. I am working on hoisting those sails myself, and it's always good to hear of others struggles with getting away from that safe dock.

  9. ah, the trick is to note what the reward is. perhaps not what we anticipated at all:)

    but yes, I fall away from the distractions as well, but my ambition looks more and more like a woman walking instead of a woman seeking. but what I find, much by accident, on these walks!



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