Lemurian City of Ladies

A Lemurian City Built in Memory of Christine de Pizan

Archive for the ‘High Priestess’ Category

Song of the Stars-Part IV

with one comment

Part IV

  Tonight, one of the adults had come to Star Singer begging her sing the Song of Soul Sisters.  Star Singer knew that Sweet Water mourned the loss of friendship with her Soul Sister, Many Kisses and her husband Great Magic.  Born but moments apart in their parent’s’ separate tipis, it was almost inevitable that both Sweet Water and Many Kisses would love Great Magic.  Sweet Water knew that Great Magic loved Many Kisses most deeply; so, in love for both of them she had stepped aside.  In fear Many Kisses had tried to sever all friendship between the three of them. 

Sweet Water understood Many Kisses’ fear and bore neither grudge nor anger towards Many Kisses.  In truth, she mourned the loss of Many Kisses’ friendship even more than she grieved for the friendship of Great Magic.  Sweet Water feared that she would never know either of their presences in her life again, and spent many nights alone in her tipi numb in her loss. 

Winter Moon had comforted her as best he could, yet, he realised that the only healing must come from Many Kisses and Great Magic. 

One of the greatest warriors of the people, Great Bear, loved Sweet Water, yet he feared she would never be able to be happy with him alone.  Great Bear’s twin brother Standing Bear and Great Bear were ever inseparable. 

Sweet Water understood Great Bear’s hesitancy and loved him more for it.  She had become one of a group of women that Great Bear took not as concubines, or wives, but as their protector.  Everyone knew that to hurt one of Great Bear’s Ladies would be to face the wrath of both brothers. 

Star Singer was especially gentle with Sweet Water, knowing that she mourned not only the loss of her first husband in an unnecessary battle, but the fact she had borne him no children in all the years of her marriage to Snarling Dog.   

Snarling Dog was well known for his impetuosity and ugly temper and had been killed after an argument with an Ogallala warrior from the West.  The two had been arguing about a trouble-making woman called Takes All. 

Takes All had played Snarling Dog with her wiles and had pried him from Sweet Water’s side with sweet lies, and empty promises.  When Snarling Dog had nothing left to give Takes All had turned to another man, Many Coups of the Ogallala Peoples. Snarling Dog had fought what everyone knew was inevitable, and had argued with Many Coups.  Many Coups had waxed furious and challenged Snarling Dog.   

Snarling Dog had lost all of his friends while following Takes All like a dog following a bitch in heat.  There was no one who would stand with Snarling Dog and hand him weapons.  This was his undoing, for it slowed him enough that Many Coups was able to best him and kill him. 

While the Elders were able to order Many Coups to repay Sweet Water for the loss of her husband, they could not give Sweet Water back her mate, or her belief in herself.  Long past the time when Bull Battles would have told her she was done with mourning and was free to wed another, still Sweet Water was living in her tipi alone. 

Star Singer gently promised she would sing the Song of the Soul Sisters for Sweet Water, and held her for a time, just being there for her.  Sweet Water left with a smile on her mouth and a shine in her dark liquid eyes. 

Sweet Water was not a pretty woman at first glance; she was too often solemn and withdrawn into her Spirit to charm with wit and beauty.  Many loved her, though, for she was generous, loving, and patient with people’s flaws.  She had been apprenticed to the Medicine Woman of the Ottawa, Magic Blossoms, until she had wed Snarling Dog and joined The People, after Snarling Dog’s loss she had remained, serving this Medicine Woman, Ancient Hills, as she grew older and began to be feeble in health. 

After Ancient Hills went to join Great Spirit, Sweet Water was unanimously chosen as the new Medicine Woman, and she was loved for her gifts to The People.  Ever kind and loving, she could not only heal the body, she was able to touch the mind and spirit and begin healing there as well.  More than one person, who was thought to be incurable came to her and left with a new wholeness blossoming in them. 

Star Singer was settled on her buffalo hide cushion and had finished her final gourd of liquorice root tea.  When all the children were finally silent she spoke gently. “My dears, tonight we shall sing of the Soul Sisters; Sweet Water has begged this favour of me…” She could not finish for the cheers and shouts of Sweet Water’s name among the children.  All of them had known her loving touch in their lives, and knew her to be a good woman. 

“They were not

Sisters of blood.

Yet they were born

So close in spirit

That everyone

Accepted them

As true

Sisters of Soul. 

Apple Blossom

Was the eldest

By but moments.

Wild Roses

Was perhaps

More fair

This mattered not

To Soul Sisters. 

They knew wholeness

In their friendship

Which grew as they

Did, strong and fast.

By the time they had

Come to the Time

Of Womanhood

They were One Spirit. 

Often would the

People

See them, laughing

And talking together

Each knowing one

Another’s silent words.

Their bond so deep

That they wedded

Brothers, one family. 

Soon they were

With child and

Waxed beautiful

And joyous as one.

Apple Blossom

Lost her child

For it was

Born too soon. 

Wild Roses bore a son

Pride of his father.

Apple Blossom

Was joyous with her.

Again Wild Roses

Waxed with child.

Apple Blossom

Was still barren. 

Apple Blossom’s

Husband set her aside.

Taking another wife,

One to bear him sons.

Apple Blossom began

To mourn her life.

No longer did she

Eat or sleep. 

Her decline was fast,

She lay in her

Ragged tipi dying.

Never calling for

Anyone but her

Beloved Soul Sister

Wild Roses.

Who came to her

Side, begging her stay. 

Still,

Apple Blossom

Went to Great Spirit.

With her last breath

She spoke to

Her Soul Sister.

“Wild Roses

Mourn me not

I will wait for you.” 

Wild Roses

Could not

Do as

Apple Blossom

Had bade her do.

She cut her hair,

And wept

Clawed at her face

And tore her clothes.

She sang

In a sad voice

Apple Blossom’s

Death Song. 

Wild Roses begged

Great Spirit.

“Bring me back

My Soul Sister.

I am not whole

Without her

In my life,

I always seek her.” 

Great Spirit heard

Wild Roses plea.

Even He could not

Change what was

Already done.

Helpless as a babe.

Instead he touched

Wild Roses’ spirit. 

She felt a great light

Burning in her spirit.

As she watched ,

A star, then more

Rose to the heavens

Two sisters,

Holding hands

Forevermore. 

Wild Roses knew

Comfort and Peace

And was once again

Joyous and alive.

She found herself

With child again.

Twin girls were they,

Made by the love of sisters.” 

Many of the older girls, with the deep friendships of youth and innocence wept unashamedly as Star Singer and Sky Eyes Woman’s voices faded into the stars above.  One girl, wise beyond her years moved to Sweet Water’s side and embraced her tightly, in silent understanding. 

Star Singer and Sky Eyes Woman watched this magical moment, their hearts swelling with pride, and love for their People.  They were embracing as they often did, arms loosely around one another’s waists and heads tipped close together.

by:  GwenGuin (who else??)

Written by gwenguin1

October 9, 2006 at 10:42 am

Song of the Stars-Part III

with 8 comments

By:  Gwenguin, of course!!  LOL 

Part III

The next night the children begged for the tale of Brothers Raven and Crow. Star Singer grinned and cawed realistically at the upturned faces,

“All of you know that we are not First Man. What happened to the First Men?” She waited with dancing eyes, then the children shouted raggedly.

“Great Spirit burned them up!!!”

“Yes dears, that’s right.” Star Singer took a deep breath before beginning the Tale of Raven and Crow.

“In the time before us there was First Man, the first people Great Spirit and Star Woman made. They watched their First Children with love and pride, but there was something wrong with First Man. It seemed that they were Trickster’s puppets, and gladly followed his yips and yowls.

Earth Mother grew sorrowful as First Men did not respect Her and treat Her with love. She sent Brother Rainbow Raven to Great Spirit begging his help. When Great Spirit saw First Men digging in the flesh of Earth Mother and spoiling the sweet Tears of the Mother.

It was with great sorrow and shame that Great Spirit chose to purify Earth Mother and begin again. He called Brothers Rainbow Raven and Many Coloured Crow to His Star Lodge and spoke with them.

“I must purify the Earth Mother, and make sure that none of First Men remain to injure Earth Mother. I must burn everything and start anew. I need Ravens and Crows to carry fire to all places and watch to make sure that nothing lives through the fire.

As sad as Brothers Rainbow Raven and Many Coloured Crow were, they agreed with Great Spirit, and said yes to his request.

Who knows why Raven is called Rainbow and Crow is named Many Coloured?”

“Because when Great Spirit made them, they had feathers in all colours!!” The children responded enthusiastically.

“Yes, they were beautiful to behold, with all colours shining in their feathers. Rainbow Raven was a bit more handsome than Many Coloured Crow, as his feathers glistened and changes colour in the sun.

At the time that Great Spirit decreed, a great flock of ravens and crows flew up to Great Spirit’s Star Lodge. He gave each bird a burning brand to start the fires with.

“What did the ravens and crows do then?”

“They flew back to Mother Earth!!” Some of the smallest children were dozing in their blankets, and soon their mothers would retrieve them, and then settle them into their furs in the tipi. As they had always done, the women brought each sleeping child up to Star Singer for a kiss before taking them to bed.

“They did, and as Great Spirit asked, they set fire to everything. Over and over the birds dipped low enough to set fire to grasses, lodges, and trees.

The other animals fled before the flames, mad with their fear of fire. First Man tried to fight the fire, go against Great Spirit’s wishes, but the fire was too great and every living thing on the world died in the flames.

When the Ravens and Crows returned to Great Spirit, he looked at them with sorrow. All of their pretty feathers had been burned black by the fire. No matter what they did to clean themselves the black remained stubbornly there.

Rainbow Raven has a ghost of his rainbow feathers, you can see them gleam with secret colours in the sun.”

Star Singer sipped from her bowl of cooled wild cherry bark tea. Then she began to sing, soft and low at first.

“Before The People
First Man
Walked upon
Mother Earth.
Great Spirit
Bade them love
Earth Mother.
Treat Her with
Kindness
And respect
At all times
In all ways.

First Man was
Rebellious
He refused
To do what
Great Spirit
Asked of them.
He dug metals
From the flesh
Of Earth Mother.
She cried out to
Great Spirit
‘Stop this hurt!’

Great Spirit
Looked down to
Earth Mother.
He saw the scars
In her flesh.
He smelled
Filth in the
Sweet air.
He saw the
Good water
Defiled,
Too despoiled
For any to drink.

He called to’
Rainbow Raven
And his cousin
Many Coloured Crow.
Help me undo
The hurt done to
Earth Mother.
Purify Her
And begin life
Over again.
Raven and Crow
Honour Great Spirit.

They carried fire
Over the world
Diving to start
Cleansing flames.
Over and over
They swooped
Low to ground.
Touch the
Brand to grass,
Light the trees.
Burned away
All First Men.

Raven and Crow
Returned to
Great Spirit
In Star Lodge.
When he saw
Their feathers,
He wept for
Lost beauty.
No longer did
They shine all
Colours under
The warm Sun.

Now they were
Shining Black.
They sacrificed
Their beauty to
Obey Great Spirit.
They tried to
Wash the smoke
And ash from
Their feathers.
Still they were
Shining Black
As storm clouds.

Great Spirit
Bade them stay
Become His
Messengers.
Raven and Crow
Were honoured.
They remained
Awaiting His call.
Great Spirit
Looked down
And saw lonely
Mother Earth.

Star Woman
Came at His call.
Together they made
The world anew,
All of the things
In the Seas,
Every growing
Tree and flower.
The Animals
Great and small.
And Second Man
Came to be also.

The People
Looked at their
World and they
Knew wonder
And gratitude
To Great Spirit.
“We thank you.”
Tell us, please
How to serve
You, Star Woman
And Mother Earth
The best we can.”

Great Spirit,
Star Woman and
Mother Earth
Knew great joy.
“Know us as
Mother and
Father to you,
Obey our wishes
Love and respect
Mother Earth.
Obey My Laws
Follow Star Woman.”

The People still follow Great Spirit’s Way, honouring Earth Mother, praying to Great Spirit, honouring Star Woman; they remember to thank Earth Mother for their food. They honour the spirits of the food they gather, the trees they use to build canoes, lodges, and the Sacred Sweat Lodge. They respect their Mother, and all the living things on Her.

To this day, Brothers Raven and Crow are honoured for their obedience to Great Spirit and carry his messages to The People. Mother Earth rewards us with Her abundance and variety. From her we get the plants we use, the animals we hunt, the waters for us to drink.

Great Spirit’s heart is full of love and pride of The People, and he brings them many blessings, and a life that is good, and happy. Every time you sing a thank you for leaves, berries, rice, or the meat in the stew, you are thanking Great Spirit and honouring Earth Mother.”

The fire was down to simmering coals, and all but the eldest of the children were asleep. Star Singer looked at all the faces, flushed with sleep and happy.

“Great Spirit, thank You for bringing The People together, and the children to my tipi, I will never be old, or be unhappy with the life You have given me.”

Written by gwenguin1

September 12, 2006 at 11:03 am

Song of the Stars-Part II

with 4 comments

                  PART II

The children began to mass around the tipi as soon as they had eaten their evening meal and washed themselves. There was nearly ten tens of children waiting for Star Singer, whispering amongst themselves and giggling in their blankets.

It was extremely rare for a woman to be given a totem spirit as powerful as Star Singer’s, but it had to be Brother Eagle, for he was the one who carried people to the Stars when they died. Yet, her spirit guide was a gentle doe, with liquid dark eyes, and graceful motions.

Many winters, as Star Singer and Winter Moon squabbled happily; Winter Moon would mutter mock-angrily, “Woman!! I am not prey, nor an enemy, save Brother Eagle for those, and let the doe come and be with me.”

She would return in kind, “Man!!! If you wish it that way, then silence your Badger totem, and let me enjoy the company of your Swan spirit guide.”

They would laugh, embrace and then return to what they were discussing in greater harmony. Normally, such an unusual arrangement, four people, all unrelated and unwed in the same lodge was not done. But, the arrangement worked so well, in many ways for these four, that it was accepted fully.

Star Singer came slowly from her tipi, carrying two buffalo hides stitched together and stuffed with fur, and a blanket that was soft and almost furred by age and washing. Her dress, legging and moccasins were beaded in blue and white, with the constellation of Star Woman prominently displayed.

The children shouted joyous and loving welcomes to Star Singer, she was know throughout The People for her generosity, kindness, and gentleness with children. There was not a child in The People that had not sought the comfort of Star Singer’s lap when they frightened or hurt.

Star Singer smiled, two crooked teeth were all she had left in her mouth, and they were worn small. She waggled her tongue at the children between the teeth, and her face crinkled with delight when the children laughed at her antics.

“I suppose all of you wish to hear the Star Woman Song?” Star Singer knew what the answer would be before she asked.

“YES!!!” Many voices shouted this gleefully. The Tradition of Singing of Star Woman first had begun when these childrens’ grandparents were sitting at Star Singer’s fire, hearing the Songs. Over ten Summer Gatherings it was always Star Woman Song that was requested first. What had begun as chance was now Tradition, and a comforting Tradition at that.

Star Singer settled on her buffalo hide cushion and wrapped frail-seeming shoulders in her blanket. The children moved as close as possible, everyone was surrounded by a glow of warmth and anticipation.

         “It was in the winters
          Before The People
          Came into being
          That Star Woman Came.
          She saw Mother Earth
          And thought her lonely.

          All praise Star Woman.

          Star Woman spoke to
          The Great Sprit of this.
          He agreed, Mother Earth
          Needed children to love.
          Together Great Spirit
          And Star Woman
          Fashioned The People.

          Brother to the wild things.

          From the dust of the Stars
          From the Oceans made them.
          Gave them life with
          A warm breath from
          White Tatanka’s mouth.

          Awaken, Great Spirit’s children.

          Blessed them with
          Plenty, and faith.
          Set them in a good land.
          Made us caretakers
          Of our Mother Earth.

          Walk softly on our Mother.

          Great Spirit spoke to them,
          ‘Care well for your Mother,
          Love her, keep her happy.’
          I will watch over you,
          And shine upon you.

          Great Sprit’s first promise.

          In times of great trouble,
          I will return to you,
          And never abandon you.
          You are my children,
          Born of the dust of the stars
          And the tears of Mother Earth.

          Heed Great Spirit’s words.”

As Star Singer sang she pointed to the heavens, blanketed with innumerable stars and worlds. Often, she would draw in the soft dirt; figures of Star Woman, Mother Earth and Great Spirit, then draw the stars that were Star Woman.

Gwenguin

Written by gwenguin1

September 8, 2006 at 9:17 am

The Dream of a Contemplative Life

with 2 comments

One of my alter ego identities (I have a few!!) is that of a contemplative monastic, living in seclusion and following the ancient rhythms of soul time. The word ‘hour’ comes from the Greek ’hora’ which refers to a measure of the soul, and not a measure of time. Each hour would then come bearing its own gifts and deep meaning which I would spend reflective time excavating. The name of my monastic settlement would be The Monastery of the Sacred Feminine and it would be set in the midst of a forest, with small huts sprinkled here and there around the area, and inhabited by other contemplatives like me. We would converge twice daily to meet in the communal sacred space, there to sing songs of praise and thanksgiving, expressions of our gratitude where each morning we would rise and learn anew what it is to be grateful just to be alive, to awaken and greet the new day as the gift that it is. Together we would re-affirm our commitment to opening our innermost selves to allow the breath of the Divine Feminine to blow through our souls. The rhythms and repetitions of the chants and bells would wash over us and draw us up into the heart of She Who Is. Such a mystical beginning to the day would water our souls with an underground river of love and mercy and carry us through the hours that lie awaiting our presence to them.

Parting company we would each walk slowly and mindfully back to our individual holy places, wherein we have created our own ritual spaces containing totems and talismans on our altars that act as reminders of the Divine. This is the place where we would balance our time with meditation, reading, writing, and holy leisure when whatever it is we create would be done as a dedication and gift to the Sacred. As it comes from Her, it returns to Her. In such a place as this we would be already living in paradise, because our time would not be the time of the outside world but the time of the soul, and so our souls would be linked together in a luminous web of connections between the sensible world and the other world, that which some call heaven. And so it is that I would walk in 2 worlds, keeping one foot in each. The sensible, everyday world would beckon forth those who would care for it for a couple of hours every morning, and this would require leaving my cell to work in the fields or the kitchens. Meals also would call us forth to be eaten silently and with care and attention for the gift that they are. Throughout the day the bells would ring to remind us, time after time after time, to listen, to hear the lesson of the hour, and to look deep inside ourselves to see if our intentions are pure; to see to what extent our wishes and desires are in alignment with the Love of the Eternal Feminine. Later when dusk turns to darkness we would meet again in the sacred space and together sing and chant our gratefulness for the day that She Who Is shared with us, before retiring for meditation and interior searching of our deepest inner selves, to review our actions of the day and the intentions that lay behind them. Then we would lie down upon our little wooden beds and resting our heads upon the pillows, close our eyes and place ourselves, body and souls, into the hands of the Divine Feminine.

Written by Edith

August 31, 2006 at 10:46 am

Posted in High Priestess

Meditation

with 4 comments

MEDITATION

Sitting still,

breathing deeply,

empty mind,

floating in a sea of tranquillity.

Occasional clouds,

unbidden thoughts,

pass by,

moving on

and out of the picture.

Diving deep

leaving the surface behind,

I surrender to the Presence.

Written by Edith

August 31, 2006 at 9:36 am

Posted in High Priestess

Meditation on Brigit, Ancient Irish Goddess

leave a comment »

Late on the eve after setting up the altar and shrine to Brigit, Triple Goddess of Ancient Ireland, and to her descendent, St. Brigit, inheritor of many of her divine traits, I sat on the earth covered floor in a womb-like cavern with Her altar before me. The cave was bathed in a rich and welcoming darkness, with the only light being that which shone forth from the flames of 19 tiny candles, each one symbolising the 19 Priestesses who tended Brigit’s sacred fire through the millenia. Taking a necklet of 19 milky-white stones into my hands I closed my eyes and invoked the presence of the Goddess through the repetition of a very old prayer, fingering a bead with each repetition:‘Brigit, Mary of the Gaels, be with us.

Brigit, Mary of the Gaels, surround us with your mantle.’

After reciting this mantra for some time, I felt myself being enclosed in a warm wrap. Finding myself unable to open my eyes and suddenly feeling an overwhelming desire to sleep, I lay down on the ground and let myself slip away through the mists of time and space, until I found myself in an enchanted glade in the middle of a circle of oak trees. In the centre of this glade there was a well, and sitting on the edge of the stone wall that surrounded the well was a beautiful Lady wearing a long blue mantle. A white serpent meandered slowly in and around her feet She smiled a welcoming smile at me, and beckoned at me to come join her. When I reached her side she lowered a silver cup into the well, and filling it with the clearest, most sparkling water I have ever seen, she pulled it back up and handed it to me indicating that I should drink it. Never have I tasted such water. This was nectar for the gods indeed. Then she spoke in a soft and gentle voice, ‘My name is Brigit, the Exalted One. I have many names and many gifts to bestow. Today I offer you the gift of the eternal waters of the Sacred Feminine. Taste and be healed, whole and free.’

Then She disappeared from whence She came, which was a place beyond my ken, for now at least. Perhaps the day would come when I might be able to follow Her holy steps. I remained at the well until twilight fell and it was time to return to my own world.

A note about wells: Since ancient times wells have been associated with the presence of a goddess, and were seen as the entrance to the womb of mother earth, the source of life. Wells are generous gifts of life from the Cosmic Matrix, and symbols of the source of life. Drinking Brigit’s holy water heals us by clearing our hearts, minds and souls of all our fears and anxieties. So return here often and drink deeply from Brigit’s well.

Note: The mantle, water, serpent and necklet are all healing symbols long associated with the Goddess Brigit.

Written by Edith

August 16, 2006 at 7:33 pm

Posted in High Priestess

Brigit’s Altar

with 3 comments

Ancient Ireland was a land filled with gods and goddesses. One of the most revered was Brigit, who was associated with the gifts of poetry, healing, nurture, fertility, fire, and smiths. The Christian Saint Brigit inherited many of the Pagan Goddesses traits. It is now accepted that both the Pagan and the Christian Brigit are so interwoven that it is pointless to try and separate them. So it is that the two Brigits meet and converge at the overlap of the two worlds. Brigit’s feast day is February 1st, Imbolc, a major feast in the Celtic year. This is also known as Candlemas Day when candles were blessed by the Saint. Brigit’s church was built in a traditional druid’s oak grove.

Elements to include on Brigit’s Altar:

—White candle: The sacred flame of Brigit continues to burn in the monastery in Kildare, Cill Dara, ‘The Church of the Oaks’, in Ireland. Before that it burned for the Goddess Brigit and was tended by 19 priestesses, each of whom looked after the flame for a day, then on the 20th day, Brigit herself tended the flame. Today one of the Sisters of the Solas Bhride Community tends the sacred flame. A white candle should be dedicated specifically to the Saint and kept on her altar. White is the main colour associated with Brigit because it is the colour of her sacred food, milk; also a symbol of purity.

—Brigit’s Cross: Design based on an ancient sun symbol. It is woven from dried grasses. Many Irish homes still hang a Brigit’s Cross over the threshold into the kitchen, the heart and hearth of the home. (We have one in our home as a reminder to seek Brigit’s protection.)

—Bowl of water: To signify Brigit’s sacred cauldron filled with healing herbs.

—Anvil, or other metal smith’s tool: Symbol of the patroness of blacksmiths. Smiths work with metal, water, fire and air, making them the alchemists of the elements.

—A white snake: A serpent token, a healing symbol, supposed to emerge from the hollows on the morning of St Brigit’s day.

—Prayer beads or necklace with 19 milk-white beads or stones.

—Symbol of her mantle which was a healing cloak. It is said that she once hung her mantle on a beam of sunlight.

Written by Edith

August 15, 2006 at 8:50 pm

Posted in High Priestess

If I look again, what will I see?

with 4 comments

I am about 18 months old and the baby of the family. I have 2 older brothers – Dan who is 5 and Richard who is 7. At this time in my life they don’t really figure enough to exist in my memories. On this day I am sitting in my high chair in the kitchen, which is positioned just behind the kitchen door, to the right of the fire place. There is no fire lit in the grate today. It must be summertime. Mammy is feeding me my dinner. She is sitting on a chair directly in front of me, holding a dish of dinner in one hand and a spoon in her other hand. She wants me to eat faster, but I am not co-operating. Unusually mammy is wearing her good clothes. She smells fresh and clean, and she is wearing lipstick. She looks pretty. I like it when mammy looks pretty. Right now I have her attention, sort of. Usually she never rushes me when she is feeding me, and often smiles her tired, slow smile. But today is different. There is almost an air of impatience about her. The woman who helps her out sometimes comes rushing into the kitchen and announces loudly that she will feed me and that it is time for mammy to go. Mammy rarely goes out anywhere, even to the local shops. She starts to get up, half-heartedly handing the bowl and spoon to the other woman. I cry out. I don’t want my mammy to go. I don’t want her to leave me. I don’t want to stay with someone who has no love for me at all. The woman grows more insistent. Mammy is indecisive. She wants to go. She is under pressure from this other person to do what she said she was planning to do, but I am crying, and she doesn’t want to leave me sad.

And then the realisation hits me. My first memory is one of separation. Mammy and I are not one after all. Mammy is one person and I am another. And I have the power to either stop my mother from going to Dublin, or to allow her to go. It has nothing to do with the other woman at all. If I keep crying, mammy will stay. I want her to stay. I don’t want her to go. My stomach is churning at the fear that mammy might leave me behind. I want to scream, ‘Don’t go mammy. Don’t leave me with this woman who I don’t like and she doesn’t like me’’. But I don’t say these words. I keep them inside of me where they live on forever. Instead I stop crying and smile a watery smile at mammy. She hands the bowl and spoon over to the woman, and kisses me on my cheek and walks out the kitchen door. I hear the front door opening and then it is very gently pulled closed behind . I weep, and wait.

—-Working on the above memory has completely altered my life long interpretation of what happened on this day. I have always believed that the primary point here was my sense of power over my mother; that it was down to me whether she went to Dublin on that day, or not. But in writing down the events of that afternoon, I can see now that that was not the significant factor at all. What really mattered, what entered my soul that day was a sense of loss and loneliness that has never left. Did this mark the break in the symbiotic relationship between mother and baby, and the consequent emergence of the individual? Is the ego based on a sense of lack?

Written by Edith

August 14, 2006 at 3:39 pm

Posted in High Priestess

Only Women Bleed

with 5 comments

It is ‘’that time of the month again’’ we whisper to our friends, who look sympathetically at us and nod their heads knowingly. During these special days Mother Nature calls us back and embraces us once again in her fold. It is as if an invisible force pulls us out of the everyday realities and we are transported to another realm, a place where we just seem to sit and watch. There is no sense of a need of having to do something, or go somewhere, or achieve anything.

These are good days, special days, days that remind us women that we were born connected to the earth and that this connection is part of the very life force that continually creates and re-creates the world. But the paradoxical thing about this special time is that even as we feel more connected to the life force of the earth we also simultaneously feel that our very life force is draining out of us.

During these days it is as if I am sinking deeper and deeper, lower and lower into a dark, cavernous space; a female place, a place where only women can go. It is a womb-like space — blood flows from the woman’s womb downwards into Mother Earth’s womb, the Womb that is the matrix of the world and all the life contained within it. Bleeding women co-create within the cosmic matrix. This is the secret, silent time of the month. There is nothing to say. All words drop away to leave behind, in their wake, a presence within the absence. The blood of women: a metaphor for life on earth, for the Sacred Feminine. The hours of the bleed move forwards. Sinking into moments of oblivion as the flow becomes heavier. Deep, bone-marrow tiredness. Cramps to remind us of how our lives are closely connected to our bodies.

Women, unlike men, can never forget that they are not merely spiritual beings, but are rather spiritual entities encased by bodies, living elements from the centre of the matrix. Our bodies and our spirits are never more united than at this time of the month, apart from those other special times of female embodiment like pregnancy, child-birth and breastfeeding. But the difference between those times and now are that the times of bleeding extend from puberty to menopause, and so they lay a special claim to a particular type of female knowledge — womb-knowledge, which gathers wisdom as the girl-child grows and develops with her changing body altering almost imperceptibly through the seasons of her life, until she eventually grows into her wise self, her authentic being, which has always being there, but takes many moons to excavate.

The flow goes on and seems to move through my body like a river, a river that carries me along with it. The river is my life force, the juice of my marrow. It comes from me even as I seem to float along on it. The river is a deep red and I begin to feel that there is only this redness, only this river. Life and blood are all of a piece. Now I begin to fade. My life light is extinguishing. I am becoming transparent. I look into the mirror and I don’t seem to be there. I have grown unreal, perhaps surreal. Maybe I have entered the other realm, the other side of here and now. Perhaps I am merging with the spirit world. As I gaze upon my reflection I wonder who this being , this vision of paleness and waness is, standing directly in front of me, even as I know that it is I, yes me, although the sheer lack of energy and apparent lifelessness renders me quite unable to attempt any understanding of what I have just come face to face with — am I here or am I not? Still complete and utter exhaustion can be so very , very grounding — the fertile place that I am inhabiting is deep, dark and peaceful. Oh I am so awfully tired, so lifeless, so lacking in energy, that it is almost impossible to do anything other than simply look, and somewhere deep in the recesses of my shadowy mind, I wondered briefly if this image was real or an illusion, before turning away to return to the reality that is my life, to do whatever it was that needed doing at that particular moment. And if that particular and especial thing didn’t need to be done at that particular time, then something else would have quickly moved in to fill a potentially empty space. Time? What does time mean, or even matter, when you cannot even catch hold of an image of yourself in the mirror?

Written by Edith

August 12, 2006 at 4:29 pm

Posted in High Priestess

Red Clay Meditation

with 4 comments

The rising sun came streaming in through the partially drawn curtains, as I slowly opened my eyes to greet the dawn of a new day. Today was the first day of my retreat in the City of Ladies and I couldn’t wait to get started on the initiation rites that were forming a major part of this spiritual experience. As I lay back, sinking deeply into the plumpness of the goose feather bed and pillows, wondering what lay ahead, there came a gentle knock upon the door. Sitting upright I called out to whoever it was to come in. A beautiful Lady appeared in the doorway. She was tall, with long hair all down her back, and she wore a flowing white gown. Around her neck she wore a set of crystals and beads, and in her hand she carried a small bowl. Walking over to the edge of the bed she smiled graciously and told me that the time to begin had come. She directed me to arise and wrapped a simple pale blue gown around me. Then she took me by the hand and led me into another room, through a doorway that had not been evident the previous evening. The room was dark and empty, apart from a stone structure resembling a table of sorts which was up against the furthest wall. The floor itself was wooden and covered with a light sprinkling of red clay, similar to the clay that was in the bowl she carried. The Lady instructed me to sit on a small cushion that she pulled out from behind the table. She told me to make myself comfortable as I would be meditating here for some time. Placing the bowl of red clay on the floor in front of me, she told me to close my eyes and breathe long, slow, deep breaths .After some time and when I had settled into a rhythm, she placed the bowl in my hands and directed me to run my fingers through the clay. This I did. As the cool earth touched my skin, I found my inner being began to respond to the feel of Mother Earth’s riches.

At first the feelings were purely physical and external, although they did relate on some level to the place I had reached in my meditation. But then the vibrations began. Uncertain whether they were internal or external, I remained where I was. It seemed then that I opened my eyes, although looking back I am uncertain of whether what I saw entered the room or whether it was a vision. It mattered little either way. What I saw was real, whether it was visible to the physical realm, or only manifested in the invisible worlds.

This is what I saw:

A group of women were gathered around in a circle. Each held a torch whose light flickered brightly in the darkness that enveloped them. They all wore similar long, flowing dresses, all in white. They swayed gently as they walked around a set of stones built to form a small cairn in the centre of the circle. They chanted quietly and in unison. One of them turned and looked my way. She beckoned me to come and join them. As I approached they shifted slightly apart to make room for me. Then they each caught each others hands so that I too held the hands of those who stood on either side of me. Amazingly I heard and knew the words that they were chanting so that I too could join in. Following their rhythms I recited with them these words: ‘Hail Mary, full of grace, The Source of All is with you, Blessed are you, along with all women, And blessed is the fruit of all you do’’. And then the room suddenly filled up with a host of women, all of whom I knew were related to me, but most of whom I had never met, simply because they either preceeded my time, or were to come after me. It came to me that I was one of a whole lineage of blessed women. And in that moment I felt full to overflowing with gratitude, and so I began to sing a song of praise and thanksgiving to the Sacred Feminine for the gift of life, the chance to be one with all of these and with all of life. And when I lay down, stretched out full on the red earth, prostrated before the Divine, it was then that I opened my eyes and saw that I was alone. The vision was gone. Even the Lady was gone. I was alone. I was not alone.

Written by Edith

August 11, 2006 at 2:43 pm

Posted in High Priestess