Author Archives: Karen Smith

Growing Wings: What does it mean to be free?

johfra_hermes_trismegistos

Hermes Trismegistus by Johfra

The next new moon on Monday 3 June places the Sun and Moon at 12 degrees Gemini (ruled by Mercury), and Mercury himself is at home at 27 degrees Gemini.

Time then for some creative inspiration!

The sabian symbol for the new moon Sun/Moon conjuction is:

A FAMOUS PIANIST GIVING A CONCERT PERFORMANCE-

One moves into new realms and successfully challenges the fears, the insecurity and the lack of self-confidence of the past in oneself – all negative attitudes which, while conditioned by the social environment, have become engraved upon the unconscious. Having achieved this liberation, one can bring to the environment the power generated by self-discipline, skill and self-confidence.

One has become at least a potential SOURCE OF INSPIRATION.

The message continues:

Having entered upon the path of individualized experience that brings him in touch with broader or higher realms of superpersonal inspiration, the individual person is able to become himself a source of inspiration, an agent for Man and the formative Powers guiding human evolution.

The kind of questions I am asking this lunar cycle, and in my Moon Lodge circle is:

What gems lie in the seat of your soul waiting to grow wings?

and…

What fears, insecurities and negative attitudes inhibit you from flying and becoming a source of inspiration?

Many of us have been conditioned to believe that what is ours to offer, the life juice that makes us sparkle, is in some way unacceptable. What is more acceptable is to ‘toe the line’, and fit in, not attracting too much attention to ourselves, and choosing socially acceptable (career) paths which may permit us some success through hard word and diligence. Creating false or reduced identities that, while may be agreeable to our families, communities and culture, is likely to leave us feeling unfulfilled, frustrated, and even in some way dead.

What stops us from revealing our true and unique nature? What have we allowed to keep us small, and why? Confronting this is no simple matter or easy undertaking, it requires deep diving and potentially a showdown with the psychic structures that are firmly in place.

How far are we willing to admit that internalizing the values and judgements of others, we have diminished ourselves in a bid to be accepted and fit in- and that a part of our soul is dying? This can be very subtle… we may believe that we are happy and fully expressed- and perhaps we really are- though perhaps, if we are honest, we are not, or not entirely.

We may recognize our own undoing- the compromises and self imprisonments as well as external influencing factors: The family that molded us to be just like like them; the spouse whose spoken or unspoken expectations lies heavy round our shoulders – the place where our wings should be growing; the friends whose subtly raised eyebrow suggests disapproval or ridicule; the cultural strata to which we are told we belong; financial limitations; debt… actually, the list of ways in which we prohibit the true expression of our deepest being is endless.

It may seem safer to resign ourselves to a comfortable life of mediocrity, and not risk exposure of a Self we don’t know. Who are we really?

We may have a sense of what lies beneath, waiting in the wings for a chance to surface and shine but we don’t know for sure what it will look like, and perhaps we are not fully in control. Jung says that the life of a creative person is not his or her own, and is motivated by a creative principle which he referred to as the ‘daimon’. Dare we surrender to the daimon?

And what of the deeper, more occult agendas at work in our psyche- are we willing to smoke them out? When did we learn that it is better to suffer in silence that be rejected, laughed at, judged or punished? And who exactly is it that thinks the thoughts we think are ours? Have we become so accustomed to our contrived voice that we take it for truth?

What lies beneath your carefully constructed persona? My bet is that some of it is messy, unbalanced, unsure, wild, a tad reckless… maybe even a bit mad.

And the voices will say “But you can’t do that”, and “What about xxxx”(fill in the blank according to your own personal executioner).

What does it mean to be free, and what does it take to be free?

This coming lunar cycle is a wonderful opportunity to express yourself and open your box … if not to step out of it entirely, then just enough to let the light of the gods illuminate your soul. With the Sun and Moon in Gemini, and Mercury also in Gemini, calling on Hermes Trismegistus – trickster, magician, and messenger of the gods , may help guide us between the world of our ordinary conditioned selves, and the potential –  what we may become if we allow the voice of the gods (our higher self, if you like) to speak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We Need To Talk About Lilith…

Vagabond

Agnès Varda‘s Vagabond

With asteroid Lilith- the maiden energy- on the IC (roots) of Friday’s full moon chart, it is a good time to look at how we handle the energy, especially sexual energy, of the young feminine.
After writing about Lilith yesterday, I watched a film with strong Lilith themes: Agnes Varda’s ‘Vagabond’ is a poignant portrayal of Mona, a young Lilith-like character in her dark moon phase- that is in exiled from civilized society. ‘Vagabond’, or ‘Sans Toit ni loi’ (with neither shelter nor law) is the story of a young woman as she wanders through the Languedoc- Roussillon wine region one winter, living as a vagabond and social outcast.
Mona is semi-feral, unconcerned with the ways of the world, and has no interest in being part of a society where, as she sees it, personal freedom is traded for security. Having previously been a ‘wage slave’ as a secretary, Mona is devoid of all ambition except the most basic survival- though she is also shown in poetic and tender moments where we glimpse her relationship with a beauty often missed by other people. As she meets a host of characters, we get an impression of the affect the Lilith-type woman has on those around her- sometimes, pity, sometimes a barely realised envy.
Mona drifts form place to place, and man to man without attachment or personal desire beyond survival and a need to be free. Sometimes she sells sex, and she is raped (off screen), but Mona takes it all in her stride knowing that as long as she keeps on moving, she will be okay.
There is no back story of why Mona has chosen a life on the road, but she has no intention of settling down. Even when she is offered land, shelter and kindness from back-to-the- land type people, Mona shows no interest in investing herself, or creating goals- she simply wants to be free. If there is a sense that Mona walks with a tormented past or traumatic wound that prevent her from fitting in, it is invisible… well hidden beneath her layers of dirty clothes and tough exterior. But in my mind at least the film raises questions about the reason for the original split, and why some women are unable, or unwilling, to mould themselves into a society where the price of security is simply too high. It also raises questions about available options for women who are without financial support, or the means to make their way in a system that they, for whatever reason, cannot be part of.
I watch this film, 34 years after its making (1985), and a few years after France legally recognises prostitution as violence against women. In 2016, the French national assembly passed a law that decriminalizes those who are prostituted and criminalizes prostitute users. This has been a controversial move that has incited much opinion but still there is no real engagement with the deeper meaning of prostitution, or how in our cultural history we have moved from sex a sacred rite to the abuses and degradation of the sex industry.
Yesterday, I wrote about the ‘dark continent of the sexual life of adult women’, though I suspect it is even darker than Freud knew when he wrote that comment in 1926. The paradox of female sexuality is that if it has been violated or damaged too early it sets up a pattern where the sexual energy is disrupted and highly charged but with no grounding. Women who have been on a journey to heal their wounded sexuality often report a split between their behaviour and feelings. Energetically, the second, or sacral charka is too open and active. The base chakra (grounding) and the solar plexus (personal will) is also often imbalanced. A sacral chakra that has been blown open too early, and without personal will or grounding leads to cycles of the energy centres being retraumatised until it is healed- though sometimes these patterns have been passed inter-generationally down a long line and take a lot of work. In this case the auric field emits a vibration that attracts equally disrupted or abusive energy. Psychotherapy that deals only with the mind is limited in how far it can offer healing- these are wounds of the soul and it is the subtle energy body that needs to be worked on.
If we nurture young girls and their energy from the start, instead of passing on the inherited sexual repression, or unhealed sexual trauma much of the devastation of the Lilith- type issues can be avoided. Girls need to learn that they are in control of their essential energy, and that it does not belong to anyone else… including and especially the cultural ‘image makers’.
Asteroid Lilith appears on the IC of Friday’s full moon chart opening an opportunity to look back at how the young feminine is shaped in our current society. From girls being sexualised too young either through the image makers, or sexual violation, disturbance the subtle and physical body of girls can create a feeling of being ‘homeless’ inside. The vacancy created renders girls vulnerable to further invasion and abuse. When due to a disrupted energy, the behaviour of the girl is unruly, promiscuous, or rebellious, the girls are further rejected. And this is the Lilith wound- without a home-base to come back to, the danger is a of being lost to oneself on a continual loop of attracting events, people and experiences that match the distortions in the subtle body.
Both boys and girls are wounded but there is something particular to the wounding of the young feminine in our current culture, and it’s a conversation we need to have.

Back from the ‘dark continent’: Musings on Notre Dame, Lilith and the winds of change.

Adam, the Serpent, and Eve, circa 12th-14th centuries C.E. Entrance to Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris 2

Main tympanum in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.

Beneath the main tympanum in Notre Dame Cathedral is a statue of Madonna and child standing on a carving of ‘The Fall of Adam and Eve’, both of whom are shown clasping their hands around ‘the tree of knowledge of good and evil’. Eve eats an apple, and rising-up the trunk of the tree is a serpent that becomes a woman- a serpent woman- Lilith. In the Sumerian myth of Inanna, Lilith lived in the temple precincts in the holy Huluppa tree where the kundalini serpent lay coiled at the base. Gilgamesh, the Babylonian solar hero intent on destroying the Goddess and her sacred sexual rites chopped down the Huluppa tree thus exiling Lilith into the wilderness.

In this myth, Lilith is handmaid to the Queen as an active agent in recruiting men to the inner sanctum of the temple to receive holy blessings and sacred sexual rites. When the solar gods began to usurp the goddesses, the sexual rites were rejected, punished and degraded.

Once exiled to the wilderness, according to the new patriarchal story, Lilith becomes a demoness and succubus who steals the vital energy of men through erotic temptation – a femme fatale intent on social destruction and upheaval. On a psychological level, Lilith represents aspects of the feminine that have been exiled and repressed into the unconscious, including and especially those aspects connected with sexuality, birthing, menstruation, bio-logical and bio-spiritual power.

Where previously Lilith was a sovereign woman, a virgin, whole unto herself serving in the temple of Inanna (precursor to Venus), she becomes a creature of terror and repulsion to be reviled and rejected.

Later in the Hebrew story, Lilith is presented as the first wife of Adam who refuses sexual subordination and chooses instead voluntary exile in the wilds, on the shores of the Red Sea. Here she is said to have produced thousands of off springs conceived from cavorting with wild beasts. She returns to the garden of Eden in the form of a serpent, tempting Eve to eat the apple- a sinful act of defiance that led to the expulsion of Adam and Eve.

Fear of the feminine, and more precisely fear of feminine sexuality, weaves a toxic thread through the Judeo-Christian tradition, creating at its zenith the hysteria that led to the witch trials. Carl Jung says, “What man has found to say about feminine eroticism, and especially the feeling life of women, is derived, for the most part, from his own anima and is accordingly distorted.” Demetra George talks of the feeling of impotence experienced by men in the presence of a sexually powerful, autonomous and passionate woman. In fear of losing himself and his sexual prowess, it may be easier to blame, judge and ultimately exile.

But the fear of the feminine runs much deeper than that. While some men may feel threatened by a sexually powerful woman, many women are also are challenged by feminine sexuality. The sexually free, alive, passionate woman can trigger people in all sorts of ways. But why? Why is female sexuality such a taboo and contentious subject? In ‘The Question of Lay Analysis’ (1926), Freud wrote “the sexual life of an adult woman is a dark continent”. For Lilith it is a wilderness beyond the bounds of civility and social acceptability. And for modern women we may recognize that we have become disconnected from our vital essence. Whatever way we say it, female sexuality does appear to be shrouded in mystery… and dare I say, darkness.

But before I get lost in this dark continent, I would like to share some musings about female sexuality and why it threatens structures of control. It’s not about sex. It is about power! When women connect with and own their energy-physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally, they access higher vibrational frequencies of divine light and creative intelligence. They become masters of their lives, manifesting and attracting what they need for themselves, families and communities. They are intuitive and have access to a wisdom much deeper than intellect. It is a body wisdom, an instinctual “knowing”. Their energy is no longer harvested by agendas that seek to control, exploit and manipulate the precious life-giving essence for negative, selfish, destructive or ego-driven ends. When women attune to the bio-spiritual power of their bodies and learn to be queen of their realm, they are at the very centre of creative life force and have little need- or tolerance- for anti-life systems that diminish, dominate, rape, and oppress.

There is a Chinese proverb that says, “when sleeping women awake, mountains move”. We might say that when women waken to the truth of who and what they are, the cultural paradigm will swivel on its axis, dissolving the illusions of a system that peddles, or sustains, lies of human powerlessness and dependency on toxic and life degrading cultures.

Nothing is birthed or comes into existence except through the matrix of the feminine- the mother- matter- mater. If this primordial channel of spirit and matter is disrupted and co-opted, the creative well-spring of life is thwarted and is vulnerable to control and manipulation. It is no coincidence that rape is a weapon of war that targets the heart, the core, the womb of a country or community- it literally dismantles a people.

In the chart of the Notre Dame fire, the Sun was at 25 degrees Aries, conjunct Black Moon Lilith (i) of France’s natal chart at 28 degrees Aries. The Spiritual Sun illuminating the Black Moon Lilith point which according to astrologers Demetra George and Kelley Hunter represents the possible redemption and healing of the exiled feminine. Uranus, the planet of revolution and electrifying change was at 2 degrees Taurus conjunct France’s Black Moon Lilith (o) at 6 degrees Taurus. Venus and Black Moon Lilith of the fire chart at 23 degrees in Pisces squared France’s natal Saturn at 20-degree Sagittarius in a confrontation between a double aspect of the feminine- the permissible and conscious goddess of love and relationship and the rejected feminine- challenging the old patriarchal established order symbolized by Saturn.

Echoing this strong feminine alliance was asteroid Magdalene exactly conjunct Dark Moon Lilith (different to Black Moon), which is said to represent the wounded feminine in the alienation and isolation of her exile. Only recently have we seen Magdalene herself shirk her reputation as sinner and elevated to a “true and authentic evangelizer” by Pope Francis. But things move fast once a certain momentum is initiated. And things come of their time.

I would like to finish by saying that when we evoke and connect with the primordial energies… the eternal unfolding of archetypes and living myths, we really are putting the wheels in motion. By bringing these energies into ourselves, into our bodies and awakening the cells that contain these essences, we awaken them in ourselves and in the world. The gods, or essences, may be aspects of ourselves that we have yet to integrate and realise, and by connecting with the image, idea or representation of specific powers, we are awakening the goddess/god in ourselves. Then things start to happen.

Sacred Water Pilgrimage- London

Mary Mag Water

Puvis de Chavannes : Maria Magdalena in the Desert. 1869

What a beautiful and powerful day in London on pilgrimage for the Water. Flowing through the busy streets, stopping at the sacred sites and singing heart opening songs. What a gentle power… like the power of water, softening with love instead of violence.

The strongest part of the pilgrimage for me was standing on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral (an ancient site to Diana the moon goddess) singing to the goddess- many voices in harmony.

In the astrological chart for today- asteroid Magdalene and Dark Moon Lilith are conjunct at 23 degree Taurus. For me this is a symbol of the divine feminine (Mary Magdalene) taking the hand of the oppressed and vengeful feminine (Dark Moon Lilith), and saying- there is another way- drop the rage and violence, transcend the wounding and claim your full feminine authority through the heart.

Mary Magdalene and Dark Moon Lilith in Taurus- an earth sign ruled by Venus- the goddess in the earth…in the water.

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 ultimately 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 (1/2 February) and celebrated by honouring the Goddess Brigid are moving through the land and the people, gaining in strength towards the fertility rites of Spring.

This power, essentially feminine, is connected to the mysteries of the womb… life, death, renewal and transformation is feared by the Christian church who for millennia have attempted to suppress it. Killing the serpent can be read symbolically as crushing a wisdom that is deemed dangerous to a fearful mentality with an appetite for political and spiritual power. The kundalini fires of awakening that forge empowered and awakened people for whom an intermediary to source is redundant was anathema to the church fathers.

Fertility and the rites of the spring have a meaning much deeper and wider than the greening of the land or the fertilization of the egg- these events are the physical manifestation of a spiritual truth and primordial energy with the power to facilitate human divinity. It is the sacred marriage of heaven and earth, the union of opposites expressed so perfectly in the equal day and night of the vernal equinox, offering a portal into the mysteries and speaks of the ‘twice born’.

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 fragile ego, constructed through illusions of safety and control… and separation form the great mother.

I once had a dream that I was part of a circle of woman, each one of us took turn standing in the centre of the circle and speaking words out loud to the others. A woman, young, black beautiful took her place at the centre and uttered her words with the upmost authority and truth “Everyone must face Mama”. These words have permeated my soul for years ever since, filtering through the layers of old skins as they burn and dissolve in this truth… pulsing in my blood tight against the drum of my skin, and in the rhythm of my womb as she dies and is reborn every month. I am finally allowing the words to settle in my cells, coaxing the old, stale ones to fall away to make way for new, lighter frequencies to vibrate and sing my essence, anchoring the divine feminine, birthing the ancient wisdom, crossing the boundaries of time.

Blessing of Spring!