Spiritual Awakenings

Hold on to your hard hats, this post is pretty bumpy…

And it’s late, I know, but I’m turning into a Shaman here, cut me some slack.

Did you laugh? Yeah, I’m not entirely sure I’m joking anymore. See, it’s kind of been a running thing for me this past year to toss off that Shaman thing every time someone looks at me with that tired, old ‘you’re sick again?’ expression. Some of them have said it to my face.

“It’s always something with you, isn’t it?”

Or my personal favorite: “You’re a hypochondriac.”

That may be, but even a broken clock is right twice a day, and the people in my life have seen me, face to face, in real time. In actuality.

They’ve told me I look like a zombie. They told me I was pale. They thought I was pregnant because my abdomen had become so swollen. They’ve seen me in tears because something hurt too badly to stand up straight. They’ve seen me lose my breath as some cramp or another tears through me. I’ve lost consciousness from headaches.

All the doctors say I’m fine. And, since I don’t have medical insurance and had to pay them out of pocket, I’m going to have to agree with them. I can’t afford to not take their ‘No’ for an answer, anymore.

I used to live overseas, in a country where old traditions still thrived. The scientist in me even understood some of the hoo-doo that was done. Endorphins are a powerful thing, herbs truly do have healing properties, and I’ve seen miracles occur after proper nutrition was introduced to a sickly body.

So.

Yeah, so.

I did what any other, terrified, poor woman would do in that situation. I changed my diet. I turned to an all-soup diet, in fact, and it worked wonders. No, it wasn’t cabbage, either—I now have nearly a hundred soup recipes that I’m putting together into my own little Book of Shadows/Cookbook thing.

Noticed the Book of Shadows thing? Well, as would any other terrified, poor woman in my situation, I turned to more holistic treatments. Nutrition and herbal teas, meditation, warm baths…and a lot of research.

Look up strange symptoms and you’ll notice a pattern (I suppose. I mean, IDK, maybe it’s not your path?) I kept find posts on Shamanistic practices. I don’t feel like a Shaman, though. I don’t feel like a Reiki healer, a witch doctor, a medicine man… Then I looked up so many recipes that I started looking at kitchen witches…and witchcraft in general. But I’m not really a witch (long line of uncanny ancestors, but I don’t feel witchy enough to call myself a witch). Look through a few of the posts on this site and you’ll see references to the feminine divine. Goddesses. That came up a lot, too.

A lot.

But I was still sick, just managing it better than I had in 2016, a year I’m convinced I almost died in. I was sick, really sick, and my doctor gave me a card for a psychologist. I’m not the only woman this has happened too. We have some ‘mysterious illness’ that must be in our head. My thyroid tested way high once. But that couldn’t be it. Heart palpitations were in my imagination, in spite of the fact that I almost passed out. (That’s probably hormonal, BTW. Apparently, lots of women have the same ‘mysterious illness’ which suggests…I dunno, mass hysteria?).

But I started reading, and really paying attention, to the Shaman stuff. I still don’t think that’s what’s happening with me, but I definitely feel like something is trying to tell me something. In fact, sometimes something does tell me something—like a random, powerful thought of a female snake. I look up female snake, and lo and behold—tons of stuff I’d never even heard about. In a lot of cultures, the Mother Goddess is represented by snakes in some way.

And before I learned that, I kept think of an ouroboros, for some reason.

 

I started relaxing in a full bath. It’s nice, it makes me feel good and helps my stomach stop hurting. Thoughts just come to me then, and every time I look up whatever I thought of in the bath, I find a tremendous amount of info on it. Things I never knew, things I’ve never heard of. Mythology from other cultures I had never studied. I’ve been visited by foxes, I literally see them everywhere now, and owls. Various insects…and it’s winter. Random knowledge, visions of Anubis, my own brain whispering don’t be scared (or is it?), waking in the middle of the night, music, bells. I have chest pain, and when that happens, someone I know has a heart attack, or is diagnosed with heart disease. That last symptom is most unpleasant.

So what is happening? I spied a yoga class on a flyer and thought I should do that. Then, in the bath, I had a vision of a snake unwinding up my spine, stretching and healing me as it went. I hadn’t heard of kundalini yoga until I saw that flyer, I certainly had no idea that it featured snake symbolism or that the energy was considered by many to be feminine.

So what does it mean?

Either I really do need that psychologist, or I’m meeting the feminine divine. I’m finding Her, the Mother, the Goddess, The Maiden, the Crone…I don’t know. Her.

Her.

The other day, my father said something about the ‘Man Upstairs’ and I immediately said, ‘why do you think it’s a man?’

And the question felt right.

Here we are, in the middle of a new feminist revolution. Women are finding their voices and their power, or remembering that we’ve wielded power all along and we just let men borrow it. We are standing up to be heard and stepping up to lead and guide and teach. I think the goddesses are driving us, and I think they’re pleased. They’re excited that they will finally get to return to their positions, so many centuries after men pushed them out. And the Creator must be happy too, as balance will be restored when women have become equal.

It’s the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, you know. Into the new, the next evolution.

My evolution began two years ago, and it hurt. Our evolution, the female evolution, began centuries ago, and it hurt. Women have been hurt, but we can heal.

I think the Mother, the Goddess, HER, is pushing us forward, telling us to be strong in the way only women can be and take our rightful place in society. I think she’s speaking to me about embracing my own strength, my true self, about becoming a person worthy of the next phase of humanity, and I’m trying.

I, for one, will be embracing Her, whether that makes me crazy, or not.

A Divine Female

I want to share a story I recently came across concerning Inanna, the ancient Sumerian goddess of both love and war, connected to Venus, known as the Queen of Heaven, celebrated and honored as a powerful deity.

Inanna went to visit her sister, who ruled the underworld. Before she went, she instructed her servant to contact the gods if she hadn’t returned by the third day because anyone who entered the underworld wouldn’t be allowed to leave. Wearing an elaborate outfit, Inanna descended.

She passed through seven gates in the underworld, all of which had been ordered closed and locked by her sister. At each gate, Inanna was forced to give up a part of her outfit until she finally stood before her sister naked and powerless. She still made her sister get off the throne so she could sit, but judgment was passed against her. Inanna was sentenced to death and hung on a hook.

Three days passed and her servant appealed to the gods. At first, they refused to help, knowing Inanna had brought about her own punishment but the god of creation and magic was troubled by the occurrence and agreed to help. He created two figures to collect Inanna’s body. Her sister was in agony, willing to trade anything to gain respite. The two take Inanna’s corpse and sprinkle the food of life onto it, resurrecting her.

Creatures are sent by the queen of the underworld to take someone in Inanna’s place. Inanna will not let them take her loyal servant and friends, because they had mourned her. However, her husband had not, entertaining other women while she was believed to be dead, and so she let them take him in her place.

Inanna’s sister-in-law pleads on behalf of her brother and is able to take his place for half the year in the underworld, thereby giving rise to the seasons.

~

This is one of the oldest recorded myths. You will notice the themes of descent into the underworld, death and resurrection. In three days, no less. Food of life…Seasons changing. I’m sure you’ll also notice how these particulars themes carry on throughout other cultures’ mythologies, first among female deities (Persephone, for example) and then to males (like Jesus.)

I don’t particularly care what you believe, I just think it’s interesting that a common myth begins with a goddess, and yet, so many have never even heard of her. A woman who lost her power, was trapped in a world with no light or life, but brought back and resurrected to retake her throne.

Would that womankind did the same.

In recent days, we have, again, been bombarded by the fact that many men still hold no respect for women. We have seen rapists and molesters in powerful positions come to light and we have seen rapists and molesters put into powerful positions against all commonsense. We are losing girls to the sex trade, taken as they walk home from school, snatched off the street and seduced on the internet. The stories go on and on, memes, hashtags and movements abound, but still it seems like so many are swimming against the current, and so many are deliberately pretending to an obtuseness that can’t possibly be genuine.

It wasn’t always like this. A long, long time ago, women were venerated, respected, loved and cared for. They were the leaders of their families and of society. Lineage and authority were traced through the mother’s line because she knew who her children were, while men had to take her word for it. She wasn’t called vile names for knowing the worth of her own body, nor was she vilified for celebrating all the things her body could do.

She held power over her own self, her own actions and her own future.

I’m a traditionalist in the sense that I think society as a whole should revert back to ancient traditions concerning power roles. Essentially, to my view, women were meant to lead because we are the caretakers and men were meant to protect, following their leaders’ directives, because they are physically stronger. Somewhere in humankind’s past, men took over the power—and don’t argue because this is well-accepted history. For the past several thousand years, men have controlled ‘civilization’ and they’ve been running it into the ground.

Because they aren’t natural caretakers. They are natural protectors, but what they’ve been protecting are resources, money, institutions that guarantee them more power. Women tend to care more about people, the elderly, the downtrodden, the children. Society.

Yes, I know that’s overly simplistic and there will always be exceptions to the rule, but it seems to me that the way people are viewing the world these days, it’s best not to complicate the message.

I think it’s time the women got another shot at leadership. I think it’s time we started looking into our own history and mythology, so much of which has never been written down because history has been preserved by men. So many truly important deities were depicted as women, in both love and war, hearth and home, travels, life and death. And justice, most especially justice. Interesting, right?

I think women should step up and show their strength, and I think that’s happening right now.