Mother’s Day, Lilith, and the April Lunar Cycle.

LIlith by K. Lenore Siner

Art by K Lenore Siner

On the April new moon, Black Moon Lilith is conjunct the midheaven (MC) at 23 degrees Aquarius. It is a strong Lilith- the ‘corridor’ between mean and true Lilith is a narrow gap of 3 degrees. This adds extra potency, and with a fiery Sun and Moon at 15 degrees Aries- there is a lot of dynamism. The Sun/Moon is also opposing asteroid Lilith at 15 degrees Libra.

During this lunar cycle from new moon to full moon when asteroid Lilith is on the IC (roots and foundation), there is an opportunity to work with how Lilith moves in your life. I will be working with the energy of Lilith and the Mother line which seems a potent intention particularly as today (31/03/19) is Mother’s Day in the UK.

Essentially, Lilith is the banished feminine, she embodies the parts of ourselves that have been sent into exile either by ourselves or our culture. She is the unacceptable face of the feminine, the furious, the overtly sexual, the one who refuses to be subordinate, the enchantress. In short, she is everything that puts the wind up a consciousness that lives in fear of the feminine. And she has been punished for it.

Although Lilith comes in for some very bad press, she is the part of us that refuses to be broken. Until Lilith has been fully integrated, it can look pretty messy- acting out, depression, addiction, promiscuity, rage, vengefulness, bitchiness- but that is a protection of what is unhealed and suffering within us. The wounds are specifically linked to oppression of the essential feminine nature that has been cut-off through social conditioning, rejection, punishment, persecution and denial.

Who are we raging at when we connect with this humiliation? Is it our fathers, our lovers, our family, community, the patriarchy, God?

What if it is also our Mother?

What if our own mother colluded in rejecting and shutting down, that wild, free, primal feminine essence? If our mother has also been shut down in this way, it may be unbearable for her to allow it to blossom in her daughter. Or, she may be afraid that if her daughter expresses such power, she will be punished. Or it may be mixture of both- protection through fear, and denial through loss of that essence in herself.

This truly is the work of healing the Mother wound, to heal the betrayal passed from mother to daughter, and for women to get real with each other about the way they collude with a conditioning that has attempted to erase full feminine expression.

There is a reason why women have allowed themselves to be cut off from their core. History has shown that the price for feminine freedom has often been too high. The memory of this lives in our cells and in our wombs. It was a thorough job – it seemed, until it became clear that the feminine spirit cannot be erased, broken, or denied forever- she is a force of nature. You cannot stop the wind from blowing, or the tides from turning. The moon waxes and wanes, dies and is reborn every month.

The resurgence of the feminine has informed many epochs throughout history- through art, stories, the grail legends, the renaissance… times when the divine feminine has flourished in spite attempts to chain Her. And here again, in our time, she is making Her presence felt, and we are learning how to embody Her.

But what about Lilith? How does she come back from exile into the collective experience? She’s not coming back if she is subjected to the same abuse and torment as before- so we welcome her… and it begins with us. We welcome our own Lilith by gradually listening to what she has been trying to say. We hear her out. We love her. It doesn’t matter if no one else accepts our Lilith- we’ve got her back.

An integrated Lilith does not need a target to unleash her rage, she has learned instead to harness that energy- which is huge- and use it to empower herself from the inside. She reconnects with the awesome power of her womb, her body’s ability to connect with spirit, to channel the divine through her cells and become a creatrix in her life. Then, even the chains of patriarchy appear as illusionary.

Drop the shame about past behaviors. It may have been your Lilith speaking. Be thankful for a Lilith that was never broken.

Lilith is the one who point-blank refused to be dominated. She is the one who stopped you from becoming a Stepford Wife!

The Feminine Grail

Magdalene 6 edited

Vézelay- Basilica of Saint Mary Magdalene. 

In 2009 I set out from Glastonbury, England to travel to Saint John Pied-De-Port in south-west France, to begin a 500 miles pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, and onto Cape Finisterre (end of the Earth) on the west coast of Galicia. Looking back, I see that the pilgrimage was part of a much bigger story of inner and outer journeying, rooted in some indefinable origin of the past, and an unrealized impulse towards future integration and wholeness. I was searching for the feminine divine in myself and was called to Her ancient sites- places where She lay waiting to be awakened. Although I did not know it at the time, I was awakening Her in myself through connecting with Her in the earth.

The journey, as I see it now, is to reawaken the ‘feminine divine’ in myself and to be an anchor for that in the world. A sacred power almost forgotten, the feminine divine, or a feminine inclusive spirituality, is returning and rekindling an ancient wisdom in our modern consciousness. Disconnection from the Moon Mother and her ways of renewal and rebirth have been sorely missed in a culture that, for whatever reason has chosen to reject Her. But this journey is also for the Sun, the spiritual Sun, that crowning luminosity of consciousness expressed in the co-creation of human and divine. It is the sacred marriage of heaven & earth, sun & moon, spirit & matter, male &  female, man & woman, dark & light. 

Mine is the path of the Grail, and yet it is a distinctly Feminine Grail, and it is not necessarily rooted in the Christian tradition. 

For the Knights of the old Romances, an outer journey mirroring inner experience eventually led to the discovery of a feminine principle, and a sacred marriage. For modern-day women, the marriage is consummated not in seeking outside of herself but in realizing that she is already that which she seeks. The inner lives of many modern women lay barren and neglected in the spiritual wasteland of contemporary culture and decline of a church that for many is distant and remote.

Without a spiritual connection many woman have lost themselves to situations and conditions that perpetuate the split between the physical and spiritual experience. It may be argued that many aspects of our culture, such as ever-increasing dependency on technology, and the projections of the ‘image makers’, encourages, and even depends on this split.

The feminine Grail is the work of reweaving the soul and the inner life. To fill the cup of the womb, the sacred crucible of transformation and renewal, and to connect with the Great Mother, or non-artificial matrix of life. By nature, woman is founded on an inclusive, erotic, and embodied experience that embraces and seeks connection with whatever it encounters, not only as an abstract entity of ‘otherness’ but as a living, immediate, and non fixed reality. Woman is in her natural condition is open to receiving the power that rises from the earth and joins with the divine in an eternal cycle of renewal and transformation. She is also deeply attuned to the rhythms and cycles of nature- to Gaia, or Pachamama. It is a relationship of reciprocity and mutuality.

As my own relationship with both my true feminine and masculine, as well as with myself, my family, my community and my ancestors hung tenuously in the wasteland, the pulse at the centre of it all, quietly, and sometimes not so quietly, insisted that I heal these fractures – to remember who I AM, and to BE that. This ‘Being’, I came to realize has ramifications not just in present time and space, nor only on the physical plane – it ripples and spirals out, changing, transforming, and re-setting the imbalances that have occurred throughout time. It is a big work and yet I cannot not do it.

The call to walk the Camino came in a dream in 2003, in what I have come to know as ‘circle-dreams’ – initiatory dreams that penetrate my consciousness, directing me to places, people, experiences, realizations, and insights. Advocates of Carl Jung’s theories of the unconscious may refer to this entity as the ‘daimon’, a force of power existing outside  the restrictive confines of the ego. “A creative person”, says Jung, “has little power over his own life. He is not free. He is captive and drawn by his daimon”. Perhaps. But what has transpired for me over the years is that the feminine path of the grail has not yet been elucidated either in depth psychology or religion. Her story has not been told.

While the giant chroniclers of the Soul such as Jung and Joseph Campbell have, to a marked degree, charted the inner life of modern men and women, it has often been expressed in androcentric, that is to say, male-centred terms. Feminine consciousness and experiences are emerging and finding a place within the collective matrix, yet communication of these experiences often depend on language and codes that have not yet embraced the depths and heights of the feminine soul.

This raises the question: Is the Grail Path, that is the journey towards an integrated and holistic, or cosmic consciousness, different for men and women? Maybe, maybe not, but until the feminine experience has been integrated into our collective experience, we don’t know. We can look to the ancient mysteries for clues about initiation and rites of passage on the journey through life and death, though ultimately the key to self-realization lies within.

Connecting to my inner experience and truth has in itself been an epic pilgrimage – a living Myth. In opening to the energy of the earth, the serpent energy, natural places, sacred sites and temples, I have been guided toward deeper Self connection. Many of these places lie in ruins or have been built over by religions whose intention is to suppress or control powerful telluric and cthonic energies –  powerful precisely because they activate the life principle, the kundalini. I seek to connect with and integrate what has been hidden and buried in myself. There is also much that has been hidden and buried in our culture… it is certainly likely that one will encounter aspects of the occult on such a journey.

In ancient times it was known that to commune with holy places had a profound effect on human consciousness. Uncovering this knowledge has led me to the follow a path of awakening and a ‘home-coming’ that I was unable to realize through a ‘god-out-there’, religion that venerates a separate, often misogynist, and judging sky deity.

My intention is to write a book about my experiences, and ‘the feminine grail journey’, sharing stories of pilgrimage such as following the ancient Druidic seven planetary oracles from Compostela to Rosslyn, womb activation and teaching on the Island of the Moon, Lake Titicaca, the creative opening and remembrance I received on the island of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides, and much more. I also connect these experiences to my inner unfolding and healing, as the outer informs the inner and vice versa, and the spirit of place and memory is a powerful gateway.

The Rites of Spring

Sheela na Gig

The wheel of the year turns to the gateway of Spring- the first day of Spring heralded by the Vernal equinox. Primordial forces of fertility, life and renewal are strong. It is a point between the opposites, inviting balance, integration, and wholeness.

In the ancient Celtic calendar, the Sheela na Gig was celebrated on March 18th- the day after St. Patrick’s Day- the Saint who allegedly eradicated the serpent form Ireland and converted the people from pagan to Christian. The unflinching Sheela, shamelessly opening and exposing her vulva for all the world to see is in stark contrast to the pious Christian missionary bearing book and cross. It may be no coincidence that Saint Patrick is celebrated on March 17th (other than it is said to be his death day) as it is at this time of the year when the serpent energies, risen on Imbolc and celebrated by honouring the Goddess Brigid are sweeping thorough the land and people, gaining strength towards the fertility rites of Spring, and onward to Beltane.

This fertile power is connected to the mysteries of the womb… life, death, renewal, and transformation. Killing the serpent can be read symbolically as crushing the feminine wisdom deemed to be dangerous by the Church Fathers…kundalini fires of awakening that forge empowered for whom an intermediary to Source is redundant.

Fertility and the rites of the spring points to more than the greening of the land or the fertilization of the egg- it is the physical manifestation of divine processes able to facilitate a deeper anchoring of Spirit in the material world. It is the sacred marriage of Heaven and Earth, the union of opposites expressed so perfectly in the equal day and night of the equinox and offers a portal into the mysteries of the ‘twice born’, as expressed through the mythos of the resurrected Christ.

The gaping black-hole of the Sheela’s yoni invites us in, challenging us to enter even as we instinctively know that part of us will die. Her plump, fleshy and fertile vulva is in stark contrast to her deathly skinny crone body with protruding ribs and swollen staring eyes that refuse humility. This is the initiation… the resolve of opposites, life and death, heaven, and earth, in one whole and eternal cycle with no beginning and no end- a knowledge which surely challenges our ego, constructed through illusions of safety and control… and separation form the Great Mother.

Juno Lucina- March 1st: Calling Women Back to the Temple

Fresco_from_the_Golden_House_of_Nero,_found_in_Rome_in_1668,_Ashmolean_Museum_(8401788678)

Fresco from the Golden House  of Nero in Rome

On this day, March 1st, in ancient Rome women would be called to the Temple of Juno Lucina on Esquiline Hill in Rome to celebrate the festival of ‘matronalia’. Juno Lucina is an epithet for the goddess Juno in her role as goddess of women in childbirth, mothering, fertility and all things connected with the sacred act of feminine birthing. The title Lucia (from the Latin lux, and lucis which means light), connects this goddess with lunar light and the cycles which are used to track female fertility as well as the measure of the duration of pregnancy.

During the Roman festival of martonalia all women from the highest born to serving girls would be excused from their duties to celebrate and honor Juno. They would wear  loose dresses and untypically let their hair fall free. They participated in rituals unobserved and unknown to the men of the town. As with many of the ancient rituals the details remain a secret however it is thought that the loose clothes and freedom from knots and ties allowed the powerful feminine essence to rise and flow in the body, generating energy similar to what we might recognize as kundalini, or dragon power, an energy that when activated leads to an expanded state of consciousness and spiritual awakening.

As every man had his genius, so every woman had her Juno, a guardian spirit that represented the female principle of life.

Peacock-complaining-to-Juno-Gustav-Moreau

‘Peacock-complaining to Juno’ by Gustave Moreau

In Roman mythology, March 1st is also the birth of Mars (March is named after Mars), who was birthed by Juno Lucina. This was a parthenogenesis birth (an egg that is fertilized without sperm), akin to the birth of Christ by the Virgin Mary in Christian mythology. Juno Lucina was able to perform this sacred feat after being given a flower from Flora, goddess of flowers and the season of spring. The power of spring, birthing, kundalini, Mars, the god of virility (Italian god Mars was the protector of fields and the ripener of fruits and grain) are all connected to early spring and fertility rites. It is no coincidence that the zodiacal symbol of Aries, ruler of Mars, is a ram’s head which strongly resembles the female reproductive organs.

This is a time when female fertility and creation is at its zenith; the power that facilitates this sacred life is the ovaries. Juno Lucina goddess of celestial light is often depicted with her sacred lily, a universal emblem of the yoni. The three-fold lily (the fleur de Lis) is a symbol of her parthenogenic power- this is the true meaning of the fleur de Lis in Christian symbology, particularly when it is connected to the Virgin Mary.
Take time to consider the deeper, esoteric meaning of a parthenogenic birth… what is the awakened feminine really birthing? She is birthing solar consciousness, Christ consciousness- the ability to be in the world as a creatrix and manifestor, through the womb and heart centres.

Picasso’s Bull’s Head -1942- is an archetypal symbol of fertility

Picasso’s ‘Bull’s Head’ -1942- is an archetypal symbol of fertility

What does this mean for modern women? For me it suggests that there is an open door into the female mysteries of fertility, creation, birthing on all levels, and the raising of kundalini energy for the purpose of spiritual and physical healing. Modern women need to return to the temple… while there may no longer be grand and sacred columned structures in our town and cities, we can still connect with our original temple, our bodies, and set aside time and space to honor the ‘biomystical’ power of our physical/spiritual experience. We can meet with and honor other women in sacred space even if that is just the floor of friend’s front room. We can honor birthing in all its magical manifestations from our menstrual cycle and childbirth to the creations we wish to birth, or have birthed, on the physical plane- the spirit we have brought though matter.

We can go out into nature and fill ourselves with earthlight and power. We can observe the expressions of the natural world and learn the essence of the moment and what it offers.

We can reclaim our wholeness.