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.

Women

I’m going to keep going for another week on the female angle. Mostly because the pond is still rippling with more and more allegations, more women speaking up, more women supporting other women and more men coming to a realization of what women might be putting up with on a daily basis.

First, let me just say that a line has been drawn. It’s about damned time, too. Women are tired and have been tired and sometime in the past year or so, we’ve had all our powerlessness thrown back into our faces, salt rubbed into the wound a few times too many… And we’re beginning to remember that the world turns on us. We are the glue, we are the backbone and we are the future of every generation that’s ever lived.

Sorry if that hurt your feelings, guys, but it’s the way nature intended the world to work, and ancient men decided they weren’t confident enough in the roles they’d been assigned to allow others to lead. (Take a look around and tell me how the last few millennia have worked out for everyone.)

Men are starting to realize that all women have faced harassment solely because they are women many, many times in their lives. You’ve done it too—and the things you’ve said to a woman will have been said to your mother, aunts, wife, and will be said to your daughters and granddaughters. And they were all told to shut up and take it. Don’t make waves, men will be men, boys will just run their mouths…Women have to be strong, you know.

Strong without taking credit. Strong enough to lend face to their menfolk so their delicate feelings don’t get hurt.

Really?

I’m writing an angry rant today because I’ve seen so many bullshit comments over the past few weeks, primarily written by men but also some of the hordes of brainwashed women, too. I’ve seen things about feminazis, liars who waited to come forward…and I’ve read comments about bringing up all the stuff the Clintons and the Kennedys had been accused of.

Well they’re dead, so let’s take them out of the political equation, ‘mm-kay? Also, blah, blah, Bill Clinton. Yup, he should be held to the same standards too. But why not back then? Because American women hadn’t had to wake up to the blatantly offensive things we wake up to today, and a different generation had still believed that keeping quiet was the best tactic for survival.

And maybe it was, but it’s not working anymore. Honestly, it never has worked, it was only a temporary fix, because we might be surviving today, but we’re not letting our daughters or our sons live in their future. We’re evolving, right now, very visibly. The upcoming generations will be so much different than anything we’ve seen in current history, and maybe that’s not a bad thing.

Sleazebags come in all shapes, sizes, colors and political affiliations. Some of these accusations hurt—I get it. It’s disappointing that human beings are not all good or all evil, that they don’t make it so convenient for the rest of us to judge. Pain is on both sides of the aisle now. But we’ve got to face it, we’ve got to uncover the festering wound because that’s the only way we can clean and heal it.

This is an issue of respect. Ask a man how he’d feel if another man went down the street catcalling him, groping him, pressuring him for sexual favors, threatening his career just because he didn’t give out blowjobs any time he was ordered to. How would he feel knowing that there might possibly be someone waiting for him in the dark, near his parked car or somewhere in his house, in any shadowed place, really, and that he wouldn’t just get beaten and robbed by someone stronger, but held down and raped, possibly by multiple men, just because they could do so.

Oh, and when they got raped, maybe they got pregnant too. No matter what health issues are at stake, no matter how old they might be…No matter that they may or may not even have access to adequate medical care for themselves, let alone a baby.

And men are surprised by our reactions. They’ve made jokes forever about how women on blind dates are scared they’ve been matched up with some serial killer. Well, yeah, because the guy in question might be a serial killer! Bad things happen to females who are alone. It’s partly why we pee together.

But we’re at a turning point. Turning points hurt, I know. But every day is a chance to start fresh, atone for the sins of the past, deal with the repercussions that you know you’ve probably earned and move forward with a new perspective and a new dedication to respecting others.

Respect. Seriously.

To finish this angry little rant about the rights of women and the responsibilities of men as human beings who occupy space alongside women, I’d like to share some observations I made while I lived in Africa. (Because women in America are standing up demanding respect, and because many places in Africa are undergoing its own changes concerning respect, too.)

The women (I knew) there are truly amazing.

Pare down all the first and second world bullshit, and you’ll see what women had always been meant to be and do. They lead, they laugh and they love. Unfortunately, most are still under the very oppressive thumb of patriarchy in some manner or another, but these women are the epitome of strength, grace and generosity. Without them, I wouldn’t have done half as well over there as I did.

They break their backs every day. They care for their families and take care of their families, and still have time to care for you, too. They point out what’s wrong with their corner of society, they hold their neighbors to standards of decency that anyone would agree with while simultaneously encouraging a bit of freedom in thought, word and deed. They love their children and their husbands fiercely, they forgive easily, but they also stand as guardians of progress and what’s right versus what’s wrong.

They’re not perfect, their cultures can be very different from anything you’ve ever known, but their humanity is rock-solid, and the same as nearly all other woman worldwide, regardless of ethnicity, nationality or education level. There are simply some morals that are universal.

Women are the keepers of those morals and societal standards, but we forgot that and once we forgot, we had a hard time passing it on to our children. Now we’re living in a time when respect is a rare commodity, internet trolls draw blood on the daily and leading political figures figuratively spit on common folk for no good reason other than greed and egotism.

That’s our line in the sand. There’s a lot of you on the opposite side of that line too, so y’all better hold on to your hats because the erosion of the shit that’s piled up over previous, silent generations has already started.