Monday, November 4, 2019

Ode to Lilith by Joyce McCauley-Benner

Painting by Arna Baartz / Illustration from My Name is Lilith


In the darkest spaces
Where rage and fury collide
This is where I have found you

You tell me I have nothing to hide
To let it all out
That a goddess isn’t pretty
She is powerful

The tears and the scars
These are your gifts
Blessed and holy
But misunderstood

You turn weakness to warrior strength
Uncovering bravery not beauty
Worshiping you is dangerous
But liberating
Do not fear the dark
You preach
For where else will you shine your light?

A poem from Original Resistance: Reclaiming Lilith, Reclaiming Ourselves.

Joyce McCauley-Benner Poet. Screenwriter. Social Justice Advocate. Daughter of Goddess. Joy’s passion is writing and exploring divine feminine spirituality through the sacred portal of writing. She has worked 15 years in social service and social justice fields, advocating for low-income populations and women, children, and families affected by domestic violence, trafficking, and poverty. Her first script, Losing Maria, was created to promote the prevention of domestic sex trafficking of minors.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Will the Real Eve Please Stand Up? by Luisah Teish

Painting by Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné

“The man named his wife Eve, because she was the Mother of all the living.''  (Genesis 3:20)

Eve was named by Adam according to biblical myth. The very fact that he is in a position to name her implies that he was first and superior.

The power to name is vested in the “owner” of things. Parents have the right to name their children because they gave birth to them and presumably will be the ones to care for them. This is a benevolent use of that power. When a woman marries, she takes on the last names of her husband. This implies that she is property which is passed on to her husband from her father. Presumably this is a willing change, or the woman may retain or create her own name.

But dominators usually reserve this right for themselves. As a child I was very aware that Slave Traders named their captives long enough to take them to the auction block; then the Slave Buyer changed the name again to identify his property. This was done with a branding iron and a whip, with no concern for the person’s sense of identity.

Explorers travel around the globe, move onto other people’s land, sink their flags in the soil and claim to have “discovered” continents full of people with ancient civilizations. The theft of the Americas from Native Peoples and the European colonization of Africa are clear examples. Today we are extending this practice to other planets.

The act of naming is usually followed by the more violent acts of exploitation, rape, and murder. Historically, women and gold are the booty of war.

So, Adam’s power to name Eve implies that he came first, as her master. But the biblical myth contradicts itself.

In Genesis I: 26-28 (all italics mine), we are told that God created them “male and female” at the same time—as twins and therefore equal.

“And God said ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. They shall rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the cattle, the whole earth, and all creeping things that creep on earth.’ And God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them, ‘Be fertile and increase, fill the earth and master it; and rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and all the living things that creep on earth.”

In my mid 20th century childhood this directive was interpreted to mean that Black people were pre-destined to work in the fields, and that enslavement was holy and endorsed by God. By declaring certain people as subhuman (the “primitives” in Africa or the Jews in Germany), this directive has been extended to justify genocide.

This directive has been misinterpreted as a license to exploit our natural resources, to drive the plants and animals into extinction, to destroy the water, the air, and the rain forests.

However, in cultures such as the Native Americans and the Indigenous Africans, a different myth guides the beliefs and actions of the people. In these cultures, the Earth is seen as a Great Mother who provides for us, who cannot be owned, and who is revered and cared for.

The story continues:

In Genesis 2, we are told that a woman is created from Adam’s rib. This is the direct opposite of natural reality wherein man is born from the body of woman.

What is the meaning of this contradiction? It means the editors of the bible rewrote the myth and obscured the symbols in the story. They left somebody out! Ministers and priests can be very selective when choosing verses from the bible to perform their Sunday sermons. The “woman made from man” myth is their story of choice. As a child, I read the verses for myself and wondered about all that “old stuff,” but it was taboo to question the bible, and there was no opportunity to explore the myths of other cultures.

As an adult, I was amazed to find out that there are really two women in the Genesis myth. There is the ever-popular Eve and another sister who appears unnamed. In Genesis 1, she was created as Adam’s twin and was equal to him. Her name is Lilith.

“Lilith is the female of Adam, or Adamah, the Hebrew feminine word for earth or soil. Both man and woman originate from mother earth, given form by God.” (The Book of Lilith, Barbara Black Koltuv, pg. 10)

A little more investigation made it clear why the preachers chose not to highlight Lilith in their sermons.

“In Talmudic lore Lilith was the wife of Adam before Eve. Like Adam, Lilith was created from the dust (Adamah) of the earth. She had been one of the wives of Samuel (or Satan), but being wild and passionate, she left her spouse and joined Adam in Eden. Lilith, however, rejected the subordinate role of women and refused to be subservient and submissive to Adam on the ground that since both had issued from the dust they were equal.” (Myth and Sexuality by Jamake Highwater pg. 22.)

Adam tried to have sex with her, and he insisted that she lie flat on her back. When she refused to take the submissive position, Adam tried to force himself upon her.

The culture of my childhood held the belief that a man had the right to sex from his wife anytime, under any circumstances. A woman who refused sex could be beaten and the man could even call upon the police to reinforce his right to sex. I often heard the men in my community brag among themselves about their power to “keep her flat on her back.”

This is myth as social charter at work in the home and supported by law.

But Lilith had a power greater than Eve’s. She pronounced the divine names of God, wrestled free and took off.

According to the Old Testament, a mob of Angels were sent to fetch Lilith, but she cursed them and fled to the Red Sea. That is where she settled. There she slept with whomever she pleased and had many children.

Lilith’s refusal to submit may indicate that she belonged to an earlier civilization, one which worshiped a Great Goddess, a wild woman known by many names—Belili in the Sumero-Babylonian pantheon; Lillake, the Divine Lady; and Lillitu, the Canaanite Wind Spirit. This earlier goddess was regarded as being powerful, creative and sexually free. She took lovers as she pleased, and the result of her lovemaking was increased fertility to the land in the form of a great harvest and increased fertility for humans in the form of children.

Because Lilith was not present in the Garden of Eden when the infamous apple was eaten, I speculate that she did not experience the “Fall” and its penalties. It would seem logical that she (like the Virgin Mary) is immune to the “curse of Eve” (menstruation), the labor of childbirth and eventual death.

But the preacher’s logic does not allow such a possibility, for this would be an incentive for women to embrace and embody Lilith. Instead we are told that when Lilith refused to return to Eden, a curse was hailed upon her by God who decreed that “one hundred of her offspring would die each day.” (Highwater, pg. 22)

Mythology tells us that she lives forever as a demonic, highly erotic night spirit who snatches newborn children (particularly males) and assaults the bodies and senses of men who sleep alone (presumably as an explanation for erotic dreams). (Eve: The History of An Idea, Phillips, pg. 39) Lilith, the Wild Woman of the Winds, blows the scene in the garden. So, another woman, Eve, replaces her.

The Genesis myth is a myth in a world of myths. It is not the myth of the world. More likely, it is the story of a culture imposing itself upon another with dire consequences for Woman, her self-image and her place in the culture. (For the full history of the patriarchal invasions please read When God Was A Woman by Merlin Stone).

My adolescent mind couldn’t analyze the symbolism in that myth, so I tried to dismiss the story as so much rigmarole and go on about my business.

All I knew at the time was that my woman’s body was supposed to be the downfall of all of creation. It was my fault that men had to be born, to suffer, and to die.

As we all know, Adam and Eve are given a warning by God about a specific tree. Eve wanders around the garden and encounters the snake. The snake (Lillitu?) tells Eve that the tree in the center of the garden has the power of knowledge.

When Adam and Eve eat its fruit, they experience a shift in consciousness and are able to comprehend spirit and matter, innocence and knowledge, their humanity and their divinity through the power of sexuality. Then God curses them to birth, labor and death.

But Adam and Eve did not die. According to the myth, they lived on. And the relationship between the formerly all-powerful landLord and the tenants in the garden is altered forever.

Some legends say that the snake was the first lover of a Great Goddess and that the first man was created from their mating.

In spite of her “sin” of independent thinking, Eve is named “Mother of All the Living.” Mother? This is strangely impressive because at this point in the myth Eve has not given birth to anybody. But “Mother of All the Living” implies that a Great Goddess from an earlier civilization has been reduced into the submissive wife of a patriarchal regime.

Was the real Eve Adam’s mother who then became his lover?

Once the myth is changed, the Great Mother Goddess becomes a childbearing slave to her son-husband; her husband becomes a wanderer in the wilderness, and family life is cursed. Eve gives birth to boy-children who work, fight and kill each other. I will deal with the story of Cain and Abel as the roots of racism in another article.

As it stands, the legend of Lilith teaches us that a sexually powerful woman can only become the mother of demons. The legend of Eve teaches us that a creative woman can only become the mother of murderers.

Because myth is “social charter” we have the power to change it. We must reclaim the images of pre-patriarchal Goddesses; study the lives of famous women and embrace worldviews from many cultures. This will give us the guidance and energy we need to rescript the story, to bring about shifts in Consciousness, and to change laws and behaviors.

I want the little Black girls to know that they can utter the names of Goddess and escape enslavement of any kind. This is the gift of Lilith.

----

An excerpt of a longer paper entitled, ''Lilith and Eve'' from the Girl God Anthology, Original Resistance: Reclaiming Lilith, Reclaiming Ourselves.


Luisah Teish is a storyteller-writer, an artist-activist and spiritual guidance counselor. She is an initiated elder (Iyanifa) in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of the West African Diaspora.

She is the author of Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals, and she co-authored On Holy Ground: Commitment and Devotion to Sacred Land with Kahuna Leilani Birely. 

Her most recent work is Spirit Revealing, Color Healing, a book of Zen Doodles. She has contributed to 35 anthologies, notably Spiritual Guidance Across Religions: A Sourcebook for Spiritual Directors and Other Professionals Providing Counsel... by Rev. John R. Mabry Ph.D., Dan Mendelsohn Aviv Ph.D., Måns Broo Ph.D. and Rev. Cathleen Cox MAT MDiv (Apr 1, 2014) And magazines such as Ms., Essence, SageWoman, and the Yoga Journal.

She has articles and artwork in Coreopsis: Journal of Myth and Theater, and the Cascadia Subduction Zone Journal of Speculative fiction. Her performance credits include: Concert for All Beings, Marin Civic Center (2014) Resonant Streams: An Ancient Call. St. John the Divine Cathedral New York (2011) The Praises for the World Concert, directed by Jennifer Berezan, Edge of Wonder Music. (2005) She has performed in Europe, Venezuela, New Zealand and the United States. She teaches online courses, provides editorial assistance, facilitates conferences and weekend workshops, and performs in theaters worldwide. 

Monday, October 28, 2019

Birth Mother by Monette Chilson

Illustration by Arna Baartz, from My Name is Lilith.

When people find out I am working on my second book on Lilith, they often ask how it is that I discovered her. And the unasked question behind the questions is, “Why the fascination?” The truth is, Lilith found me. Indeed, she finds all of us when we’re ready for her. On a global scale, the world is increasingly ready for her.

She appeared to me when I was researching various incarnations of the feminine divine for my first book, Sophia Rising. I recognized her immediately as a missing piece of my spiritual DNA.

Though I’d been adopted by Eve—as have all females steeped in Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) rooted in Old Testament lore—I never felt a kinship to her. I wanted to find my birth mother—the one whose genes I carry. I always wondered why Eve didn’t just say “no” to subjugating herself to another. And I always lamented how different our lives would be—men’s and women’s—if she had.

When I got married in my mid-twenties in the same Southern Baptist church as my parents, I forbade the preacher from using the submission line—the lopsided vows in which the wife obeys and the husband loves. I wanted a partnership in which we both loved. I also nixed the rib story. I had always believed the first creation story in Genesis, the one where Adam and Eve were created from the same earth.

Imagine my delight when, years later, I learned that the creation account I’d always identified with was Lilith’s, not Eve’s!

I don’t blame Eve for the downfall of humanity. In fact, I think seeking wisdom was one of the bravest things she did. Had I been in the garden, I, too, would have eaten that apple. That forbidden fruit was never the thing that ruined paradise.

Paradise ceased to exist the moment true mutuality between its residents ended. Any place or space that decrees one person the spiritual head of another based on their gender is not paradise. It is patriarchy.

And, like Lilith, I flee that garden whenever I encounter it.

As I write this, I am stymied by the current climate in the United States, the place I call home. My desire to flee oppression is juxtaposed with my urge to stay and fight for the same autonomy Lilith deemed nonnegotiable. With a president who openly expresses his dominion over women—“When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy.”—and with ever-restrictive laws governing women’s bodies being proposed daily, the sovereignty Lilith and her descendants fought for is seriously jeopardized.

Into this environment so blatantly inhospitable to women, steps this divergent group of women—professors and priestesses; artists and activists; witches and visionaries; and even a greatgrandmother ordained a Catholic priest at age 80 (and promptly excommunicated for it). Every word of this anthology drips with Lilith’s essence.

This book’s contributors and readers will have wide-ranging levels of experience with Lilith. Some (like Lilith Institute Founder D’Vorah Grenn and filmmaker/artist Liliana Kleiner) have spent their life exploring her. Others, like Priscilla Warner, who wrote our preface, are just learning about Lilith. This book is for you whether you are merely curious or a hard-core devotee of this rebellious female ancestor of ours.

Finally, I want to emphasize that Lilith is not another icon crafted to fit Western white standards of feminine beauty and conduct. She is an inclusive archetype of female strength and sovereignty. Dr. Christena Cleveland tackles this issue beautifully in her preface asking questions like, “Why does white patriarchy get the last word on the Divine?”

We intentionally cultivated diversity among our contributors. They hail from Argentina, Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Iraq, Israel, Norway, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Tasmania, Turkey, and the US (Berkley, Brooklyn, Denver, Kentucky, Houston, Missouri, Napa Valley, New Orleans, New York City, North Carolina, Tucson, Upstate New York and Oregon); they are barely 20 and octogenarians; they are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Irish Ifa/Orisha, Pagan, Luciferian, Fellowship of Isis, and Celtic Creatrix.

And they are, each and every one, remarkable. We’re included their biographies at the end of the collection. Take a moment to read them and to let them inspire your own journey to reclaim the Lilith within you. Follow them on social media and support the important work they are doing in the world. If you need some extra inspiration, pop over to my website and check out the free guides to creating a Lilith Circle in your own community. We are offering a complimentary book to facilitators who purchase ten copies.

I look forward to communally rediscovering our birth mother, Lilith—the woman erased through omission and demonization— and to rewriting herstory together.

------

An excerpt from the Girl God Anthology, Original Resistance: Reclaiming Lilith, Reclaiming Ourselves.



Monette Chilson, author of My Name is Lilith (Girl God, 2017) and Sophia Rising: Awakening Your Sacred Wisdom Through Yoga (Bright Sky Press, 2013) writes about God in the feminine and the feminine in God. She speaks to groups big and small, in both lecture and workshop settings. She’s written for publications including Yoga Journal, Integral Yoga Magazine and Elephant Journal and has contributed to numerous anthologies, most recently Yoga Wisdom: Warrior Tales Inspiring You On and Off Your Mat and Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak. She was awarded an Illumination Book Award gold medal, as well as the Hoffer Small Press and First Horizon Awards. Original Resistance: Reclaiming Lilith, Reclaiming Ourselves is the first anthology she’s edited. Connect on Twitter and Instagram (@MonetteChilson) or explore her work at www.MonetteChilson.com






Friday, October 25, 2019

The Garden of Lilith C. Ara Campbell

Painting by Arna Baartz

I am Lilith.

Stories have always painted a dark picture of me. I was marked as evil and cast from my home. I was removed from the Garden of Eden, pulled like a weed for daring to march to the beat of my own drum. I, who had the courage to speak my truth and refused to submit. The punishment for my acts of defiance are seen as a warning to all women; conform or be banished. Lay down or suffer the consequences. I, Lilith, am here to tell you that you can never be banished from your own garden. They cannot pull you from all that you are.

I worked my fingers to the bone in that garden, trying to grow something beautiful only to have it ripped from me. But here in this loss, there is also deep truth. The power of women is to grow anywhere and through anything. Though I was cast out, I built my garden anew elsewhere, digging deep my seeds where they would flourish and be nurtured by my own hands. We cannot control when the weather will turn or when the storms will rage. We can however blossom where we choose to put down our roots.

Some will stop at nothing to hold the words of women to a whisper. That is not our true nature. They tell us we are erratic or emotional when our volume is raised. They try to diminish our roar.

That’s what they teach us, the wild women who howl in the night. They try to train us that our silence, compliance and conformity buys love and acceptance. That the path to happiness is littered with our obedience. To be gentle and complacent is to be feminine.

I was taught to be accepted I needed to remain quiet. Nothing could be further from the truth. They want us muted, you see, we’re easier to tame that way. Wild and free, vocal and unbowed we present a problem that threatens the rules of the past that they hold so dear. With our swords of truth we lay their crumbling foundations to rubble. With our heads held high, we pave the way for a brighter future for all beings.

We are demonized for our desires and our voices. No more. Roar like a banshee with the injustice of the world. Walk away from the any garden that threatens to drain your soul, knowing you can create another.

We build our own garden. We sow the seeds and nourish the leaves. Plant yourself within the soil, rooted in your authenticity. Shower yourself with praise, love and adoration. See your worth. Know your value. And know that any who try to take your voice are not doing it for your own good but for theirs. Never make it easy for them, rage against their tyranny. They fear us, you see. They fear the power of the feminine.

I, Lilith, build my own garden. I speak the truth of my heart and spirit, come what may.

I am here to remind you to never bow. Never swallow your sexuality, your expression or your passion. They try so hard to make women digestible, to make even our desires palatable for them. They try to twist our bodies for their pleasure. The time has come for women to reclaim their sacred garden, tangled with passions and dreams. It is ours to plant and cultivate as we see fit, and for none to strip from us.

They may paint us as demons, as they have often done, and call us banshees for digging our claws into the life we wish to lead. We may be called evil for burning it all to the ground and starting anew; they may try to banish us for what they consider a fall from grace.

We are Queens. Our crowns can never be taken from us. We are the women who walk with bold steps towards a brighter future, screaming at the top of our lungs for the atrocities committed against our sisters. We are the ones that teach our daughters from womb to womanhood their power is an indomitable flame which burns from within. That they breathe holy wildfire that should never be silenced.

We were told to hide our voice, our desires, and our purpose from those without the eyes to see, thinking that somehow we will magically become tolerable. We don’t need their acceptance; we need to accept our own authority.

Women have been swallowing their truth, their medicine and their desires for WAY too long. We did it in the name of being acceptable to society. We did it to be loved by others. We did it to survive in a world that tried to bury us.

Little did they know that we are wild seeds—feral, fierce and flowering. Never to be cut and trapped in a gilded vase, but to grow free.

You will never destroy us. There is no power great enough.

We will not be silenced.

----

An excerpt from the Girl God Anthology, Original Resistance: Reclaiming Lilith, Reclaiming Ourselves.

C. Ara Campbell is a visionary writer, author, and founder of The Goddess Circle. She is a soul guide, cosmic channel, facilitator of The Inner Priestess Awakening Online Journey and Relationship Empowerment & Sacred Love Online Journey, and author of The Astro Forecast. Ara is a modern day mystic dedicated to the rising feminine, living embodied truth, connecting others with their gifts and healing using the natural world. Ara is an old soul that has been writing and channeling guidance from the unseen since she was young intuitively soul coaching using spiritual and natural energies. She can often be found seeking wisdom and solace in the wilds of Mother Earth or capturing the magic of nature with her camera.


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Ashes and Spark by K. A. Laity


Art by Liliana Kleiner


I chase the night like a lover
Black velvet under my nails 
I taste stars on my tongue 
And sleep amongst the satyrs 
Nest with owls and their eggs 
Because I am a mother too, 
Creator of monsters they say 
My children have eyes of flame 
And howls that speak your pain 
I would not trade my life for anything 
As poor as that man who yelped 
The first time I bit him 
From the ashes I too rise 
Though my hair is black 
My fire is red, my ink eternal 
You cannot contain my spark


K. A. Laity is an award-winning author, scholar, critic and arcane artist. Her books include How to Be Dull, White Rabbit, Dream Book, A Cut-Throat Business, Lush Situation, Owl Stretching, Unquiet Dreams, Chastity Flame, and Pelzmantel. She has edited My Wandering Uterus, Respectable Horror, Weird Noir, Noir Carnival and Drag Noir, plus written many short stories, scholarly essays, songs, and more. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Fierce Feminine isn’t Afraid to Take up Space by Tamara Albanna

Art by Kat Kissick

I was always on a diet, it seems.

Even as a child I was told not to eat too much—so I didn’t, in front of people anyway. Food was scarce, so I comfort ate wherever I could to cope with the abuse I suffered on a daily basis. This of course became the precursor to an eating disorder later on in life.

When I look at pictures of myself from 20 years ago, I can recall I was on a diet then too, despite the fact I was already so slim. It was around that time that someone close to me said, “I can’t take you there looking like that!”

She was referring to going “home” to Baghdad to see extended family. I clearly wasn’t in the best shape I could be in, despite being at my lowest weight as an adult. There was so much value put on my appearance—and most importantly the size of my waist—that I assumed everyone in Baghdad must be thin as rails for one reason or another. Of course, this was completely illogical, but the obsession to make oneself almost disappear in a patriarchal society didn’t make sense to me until much later on.

They were trying to disappear me. Make me a pretty little inconspicuous thing, a non-threatening thing. One who took up no space, one who didn’t speak—and I thought this was normal.

Well, that was until I met my Grandmother and Aunts.

I saw fairly tall, well-built, but most importantly voluptuous women. Women with breasts, bellies, thighs and butts, women who look like me. These women were colorful, loud, and confident. Their auras were incredible, they were a commanding, yet loving presence. A perfect example of the fierce feminine. I only wish I had come to this realization then; it would’ve saved me decades of grief.

It wasn’t until I had my own children that I noticed my body start to change—parts that were soft before, only got softer.  And even though this body literally sustained life, my children’s and my own, I still fought it to death.

I would binge, then starve, then cry out of complete despair.

I saw myself as a failure, all because I couldn’t maintain some unattainable ideal that society was ramming down my throat.

It was a battle that lasted for so many years, it was a part of me and my experience. 

When I first saw the Willendorf, I was stunned. I had seen images of Earth Mother, and Gaia, with the large breast and bellies, but this image was different.

It was almost a sense of shock and relief at the same time.

Who created Her this way? Is She pregnant? Is She a representation of all that is? The Heavens and the Earth, all those who dwell here? Wouldn’t it make sense that She be voluptuous, that She is soft?

Art by Jakki Moore

She goes against all societal “norms” and expectations of how a woman “should” look. Perhaps because this was a matriarchal time, and women were honored and respected—their bodies, holy and life-giving.

The era of patriarchy sought to silence us, thin us. Disappear us.

I had to sit with myself and with Her for a long time. I had to allow this message to sink into my very soul.

The Goddess has taught me many lessons, her many aspects and faces contain immense wisdom. But it was the Willendorf Goddess who held one of the most powerful lessons.

She taught me that self-acceptance was possible. Her message is evident even in her presence, like the presence of my Grandmother and Aunts. The fierce feminine that isn’t afraid to take up space.

Let us listen to Her message, gaze upon her incredible image, and remind ourselves to take up the space that we deserve.


Stay tuned for an upcoming anthology of women's words and art.... And check out the soon-to-be-released children's book, My Name is Goddess of Willendorf!





At last—the truth about the Goddess of Willendorf, Mother of All. No, we Her daughters are not all skinny like some male standard demands. Yes, some of us Her daughters have soft thighs. Yes, we Her daughters are of many colors and speak many languages. Our own daughters will be inspired by this beautifully illustrated book to see themselves more clearly and more gently.” -Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D., author of Goddess Meditations, Practicing the Presence of the Goddess, and Finding New Goddesses

Monday, September 30, 2019

Medusa as Crone by Maureen Owen


Medusa Self-Portrait by Liliana Kleiner


Medusa also embodies the crone aspect of the triple Goddess. The crone is associated with the themes of being timeless, detached, fearless, free, beauty, guide, wisdom, surrender, spontaneity, and paradox.1 The crone is the woman who has gone through the crossroads in her life and is in a place where she has surrendered her ego demands to a higher will; having accepted her own destiny, she is free and fearless; no longer needing to justify her existence; nor fearing the judgement of others; she has learnt to trust herself.2 The crone is a mature woman who has a sense of truly being herself.3 This aspect of Medusa paints a clear picture of the wisdom, power and beauty available to me as mature conscious woman and the prize for undertaking the inner work required to be a crone and step into my full sovereign power.

I also know that the qualities of the crone are not automatically bestowed “following menopause, any more than growing older and wiser go hand in hand.”4 The crone is a potential I can develop, and to do this I need to recognise, practice and listen to it. Accordingly, Medusa is inviting me to look below the surface to shed old ways of perceiving this stage of a woman’s life and to grow into my full creative and spiritual potential. To understand, that until this span of my life is over, I am still in process; in the midst of an unfinished story; and what I say and do makes a difference. This is an invitation to access the fullness of the power and wisdom that is my birthright. For when this potential is activated I know it will help me to act as a counterbalance to the frenzied ambition, competition and materialism that drives much of the patriarchal world I find myself living in.

An excerpt from ''The Invitation'' in Re-visioning Medusa: from Monster to Divine Wisdom.

Maureen Owen is an internationally accredited coach and facilitator. She holds a Master’s degree in Organisational Development and Training. For the last 20 years, she has worked as a consultant, change agent and senior manager in the areas of human resources and organisational development. Maureen lives in Brisbane Australia with her husband Nick and their enigmatic cat Stefan.

Concerned with the number of people (particularly the number of women) she encountered in her corporate work who were drained of energy and exhausted from the endless striving, Maureen grappled with ways she could provide a service that would address these challenges. And from these early musings Lotus Space was conceived to focus on the whole person and to support women to live unapologetic lives of passion where their individual uniqueness can shine through.

LotusSpace, using the Chakra System as the guiding framework, supports women to embark on a journey of self-discovery to renew, rediscover and reawaken powerful aspects of themselves. Maureen knows from her own experience, the power of working with the chakras and their capacity to return us to balance and provide us with an expanded and enriched experience of being alive. She believes that the chakras provide a profound formula for wholeness and the blueprint for the evolution of the soul that enables us to look at life with fresh eyes; to see beyond our conditioning that limits what is possible for us; whilst learning how to deepen the connection and relationship we have with ourselves.


Notes:
1 Marion Woodman & Elinor Dickson, 1996, p 10.
2 Marion Woodman & Elinor Dickson, 1996, p 10 & Marion Woodman, 1983, p 87.
3 Jean Shinoda Bolen, 2003, p 4.
4 Jean Shinoda Bolen, 2003, p 8.