Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Re-Membering with Goddess: Trauma, Patriarchy and the Sacred Feminine by Kay Turner

 

Art by Arna Baartz


Understanding Trauma – I want to thank some amazing therapists – and a detailed nervous system education (via Irene Lyon) – for providing the most empowering and sacred steps I have taken on my wellness path.

For the first 42 years of my life, I pinballed from one traumatic experience to another. It is understandable that I was initially relieved that there was a ‘label’ – Complex Trauma or C-PTSD – to explain my chaotic existence. In addition, it was liberating to learn that the plethora of symptoms I had previously or continued to experience – a long list which included shame, guilt and dissociation, chronic pain, fatigue and migraine, attachment issues, co-dependency, and self-destructive thoughts and behaviours – were not a personal fault, weaknesses, or indeed a punishment from ‘God’ for not being ‘holy’ or ‘spiritual’ or ‘good enough,’ but were instead by-products of nervous system dysregulation. Further understanding that the nervous system dysregulation in my own system was the result of the combination of generational dysfunction and patterns, in-utero and developmental trauma, adverse childhood experiences (known as ACE) and a catalogue of traumatic events and abusive relationships in adolescence and adulthood – was the catalyst for my journey out of victimhood.

I have experienced most categories of trauma and abuse, including familial suicide and alcoholism, parental emotional abuse and neglect, severe bullying and physical assault at school, grooming and sexual assault, boundary violation and inappropriate conduct from a priest, financial and psychological abuse following divorce, and gaslighting and stonewalling by close family members. Now having the awareness that the scene was set generations ago, that I was born into a landscape of trauma landscape and that the ‘unstable wiring’ of my vagus nerve in many ways set me on a predestined path of trauma, has enabled me to forgive and be compassionate with myself. As I have progressed through stages of healing, layers of acceptance and the forgiveness of others have begun to surface.

The deeper I commit to recovery and journey ever further down the trauma rabbit hole, the more I discern the role of patriarchy, religion and spirituality – ‘those ungrounded and inhumane ‘spiritual’ models that have been fostered by emotionally armoured, self-avoidant men’ (Jeff Brown) – play in perpetuating the initial experience of trauma and the subsequent recurrence of it.

A hierarchical, vertical structure of ‘power over’ – the ‘perfect,’ ascended, all powerful and all knowing, enlightened God-Deity-Guru to whom we silently pray-worship-venerate, putting our bodies into a controlled, paralysed genuflection or lotus position pose, hanging our heads in shame or awe, atoning for our ‘humanness’ and bodily based imperfections, begging to have our illusionary, sinful ‘feelings’ and emotions erased, undertaking practices to trigger ‘transcendent’ and ‘blissful’ i.e., dissociated states – are all the exact opposite of what needs to be cultivated to move on from trauma. Spiritual bypassing – ‘avoidance in holy drag’ (Robert Augustus Masters) – is an addictive behaviour, and one I still must keep in check myself. It can keep us netted in the search to be ‘saved’ by a means, power, or person external to ourselves and it was a compulsion which perpetuated my disempowerment, victimhood, and avoidance of self-responsibility, blocking the resolution of the trauma in my nervous system for so long.

The traumatic experience of societal decencies and cultural conditioning (Irene Lyon) which we have little collective awareness of, manifests as ‘good, quiet and proper’ behaviour. Twinned with patriarchal abuse, women are traumatised and then blamed both for it – and the symptoms they exhibit as a consequence of the unresolved trauma responses in their system. This is the ultimate toxic double bind and here are just some examples from my own life:

  • Be good’ My soul-led, creative, and intuitive little girl was tamed into a good, compliant, high-achieving academic, who ‘controlled’ the urges and desire to ‘break free’ with an eating disorder. Consequence: blamed and labelled mentally ill.

  • Be quiet’ As a separated woman I was told by my soon-to-be ex-husband not to ‘rock the boat’ or dispute his request for shared care of our children, which he made for his own financial benefit. My instinct was that if I did not agree to his demand, he would take me to court, and put our children through a custody battle. I agreed to his wishes even though my intuition (later proven to be correct), was that this was not in the best interests of our children. The event triggered the symptoms of chronic migraine and pain. Consequence: blamed and told symptoms were psychosomatic, ‘all in the mind’ and ‘of the ego.’

  • Be proper’ As a young woman, recently graduated from university, I was ‘punished’ (my mother’s words) by my mother, who took a deliberate overdose and self-harmed herself because I spent time caring for my suicidal father when he was on weekend leave from a mental health unit. My mother told me in the hospital emergency department she had done it because I had chosen ‘him over her’ that afternoon. This incident fanned the flames of social phobia and chronic anxiety, and further obliterated my already fragile self-confidence. The event elicited terror of my own voice, boundaries, and choices but also further amplified the lack of safety I felt in my family of origin, and with other women. Consequence: blamed and told I needed to toughen up, that my mother was suffering, and that my recollection of events was false.

As I write this and reflect, I now acknowledge that the final scenario is the ‘worst’ traumatic injury and attachment rupture I have sustained. This narrative demonstrates the ongoing frequent occurrence amongst individuals and groups of women – mothers and daughters included – who are both ensnared within and perpetuating the toxic historical patterns of patriarchy – traumatising and abusing each other. I doubt I am alone in experiencing and recognising this and I wonder that if all women right now were to commit fully to breaking down these toxic inter-generational feminine energetics and dynamics – i.e., ‘manipulative tactics: cold withdrawal, overt hostility or bullying, unpredictable, competition, jealousy, triangulating’ (Bethany Webster) – if the patriarchy would finally crumble.

When I became conscious to the internal misogyny and patriarchy within myself, I set the intention to do inner work and restore the healthy feminine within myself. This has been painful, but for me was an essential part of resolving trauma and, thankfully, has facilitated some beautiful connections in my life with many wise women, along with strengthening my link to the sacredness of the feminine. The nudge that this was a vital part of trauma healing came early. During one of my initial EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) sessions I announced to the clinical psychologist during an eye movement sequence – that ‘Divine Mother is here.’ The creativity and ingenuity of the psychologist to accept and ‘work’ with this archetypical celestial intervention, was so enabling that the rewiring of my wounded ‘mother attachment’ was extraordinary and a great blessing. I was 43 years old, and it was the first time I had experienced and felt a sense of safe and sacred feminine energy, despite having been immersed in theology, religion, and spirituality my entire life. The cloaked figure of light arrived to take my traumatised inner child away from the event she was perpetually reexperiencing, placing her under her ‘wing’ and into safety. This ‘being’ is an archetypical aspect of light Goddess in the form that I now identify as Mother Mary or Kuan Yin. She was my psyche’s lifeline out of trauma, patriarchy and the fear, disgust, and mistrust of, woman, the feminine and the divine.

The imprinting of the frequency of the sacred feminine within my mind and body in that session has grown stronger through commitment and nurturance. I tune in over and over again, to receive the guidance of where to go next – whom to speak to, what to read, what to study, what to eat, how to be, when to rest.

A complete overhaul of my life and my family’s life was initiated that day, as the blueprint and innocence of my inner child was restored. When you heal trauma, you do so for past, present, and future generations. It is not work for the faint-hearted. Relationship dynamics, behaviours, thoughts, identity and life purpose are all detoxed, recalibrated, realigned. Boundaries are negotiated and set, then renegotiated and set again. In committing to resolving trauma I have had to finally and fully incarnate, embody my complete and messy humanness, get up close and personal with my shadow and body sensations, and FEEL and contain everything at its strongest amplification – pain, anger, fear, hatred, despair. It was in this ‘underworld’ that my psyche met and was mentored by the archetypical aspects of of dark Goddess in her many forms – Black Madonna, Kali, Morrigan, and Jaguar, to name a few. These dark and formidable energies and role models have walked me back along ancestral lines (deep into the collective wounding) and journeyed me to past lives, reminding me of the current ‘mission’ many of my contemporaries have – to clear out and exorcise the violence, cruelty, harm, denigration, rape, and violation of the feminine, the body and of the earth. Through the personal healing of any one of us there is a restoration of life, a voice, embodiment.

I am, you are, we are the sacred feminine – one in the same – and I own this fully. By continually re-claiming, re-membering and re-connecting myself as Goddess, answerable only to my own inner gnosis, I heal and resolve trauma. What I evoke, pray to, petition, is all inside of me. I trust my own wisdom. I move. I nurture my body. I commune through pleasure. I see my bodily sensations and emotions as messengers carrying wisdom. I feel and express a full range of emotions. I root my energy system into the earthly womb of Gaia and the cosmic womb of Sophia and receive eros, inspiration and lifeforce. I embrace all the aspects, energies and archetypes of Goddess that I am and expand. I am beginning to trust and lean into my newly found circles of sisters for reflection, companionship, and love.

And this is my journey is in its infancy. I have a lot more processing to do around shame and vulnerability, being seen and heard, fawning and fitting in. Nevertheless, as I advocate for the unification of the sacred and mundane, I have set the intention and called upon the activation of the energetics of self-leadership and self-sovereignty of the sacredness and feminine wisdom of my own and my family’s DNA and energy field, whilst knowing and trusting fully, it is already done.

An excerpt from Re-membering with Goddess: Healing the Patriarchal Perpetuation of Trauma.




Kay Turner is a teacher, facilitator, researcher and writer who visions collective evolution. She catalyses individual, collective and institutional evolution through education, embodiment and creativity, and the amalgamation of metacognition, intuition and instinct.

Kay has contributed to the Girl God Anthologies Warrior Queen: Answering the Call of the Morrigan and In Defiance of Oppression - The Legacy of Boudicca. Kay will also feature in other upcoming Girl God Anthologies Just as I am - Hymns Affirming the Divine Feminine and Songs of Solstice - Goddess Carols. Currently she is co-editing the upcoming Girl God Anthologies: Re-Membering with Goddess: Healing the Patriarchal Perpetuation of Trauma, The Crone Initiation and Invitation: Women speak on the Menopause Journey, Rainbow Goddess - Celebrating Neurodiversity and Pain Perspectives: Finding Meaning in the Fire. In addition, Kay is writing her own books: Mentorship of Goddess: Growing Sacred Womanhood and Making Love with the Divine: Sacred, Ecstatic, Erotic Experiences.







Monday, November 22, 2021

Call for Submissions: Rainbow Goddess - Celebrating Neurodiversity

 


The Girl God is accepting submissions for our upcoming compilation of women’s writing: Rainbow Goddess, an Anthology of women’s voices and art on the experience of Neurodiversity.

We invite writings and art about experiences of neurodiversity and rainbow Goddess.


Personal essays or accounts (up to 2,000 words), academic papers, poetry, prayers, and art are welcome.

Themes to consider in your submissions might include:

  • The gifts of neurodiversity

  • Spirituality and neurodiversity

  • Creativity and neurodiversity

  • Neurodiversity and society

  • Being neurodiverse woman

  • Patriarchy and neurodiversity

  • Neurodiverse visions for humanity, society and the world


Edited by Kay Turner, Trista Hendren and Tamara Albanna
Cover Art by Kat Shaw

Scheduled publication: Late 2022

Submission Guidelines:
Please send your finished piece in a Word document. Calibri size 12 font is preferred. Please do not use any fancy formatting or fonts as it creates a lot more work on our end. Make sure to spell check before your submission.

Please also include a bio under 150 words.

Please send your submissions to submissions@girlgod.org by May 1st 2022 with the book title in your subject line. Please note that we cannot accommodate any late submissions or corrections. 

Accepted contributors will receive a contributor's copy of the book and the option to order as many copies of the book as they'd like at cost during the pre-order period to sell or gift as they wish.



Monday, November 8, 2021

Call for Submissions - Songs of Solstice: Goddess Carols

 

Cover Art by Kat Shaw


Girl God Books is accepting submissions for our upcoming compilation - Songs of Solstice: Goddess Carols. 

Because we want to avoid duplication, we will continue to update this post with a list of re-written Carols. We are also interested in joyous artwork of women singing, playing instruments or gathering for holiday festivities.

So far, we have:

O Holy Night by Trista Hendren and Anders Løberg

The Darkest Night Enfolds Us Here (sung to O Come O Come Emmanuel by Rebekah Myers

It Came Upon a Solstice Morn (sung to It Came Upon a Midnight Clear) by Carol P. Christ

Silent Night by Trista Hendren

All Life is This, Who at the Breast (sung to What Child is This) by Kay Turner

We Sing in Deepest, Darkest Night (sung to Three Kings from Persian Lands Afar) by Kay Turner

Have Yourself a Faierie Little Solstice (Sung to Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas) by Marya 
Stark 

Away in a Manager - Re-written by by Kay Turner

Once in Royal Davids City - Re-written by by Kay Turner

Glorious Goddess (sung to the tune of Ave Maria) by Anique Duc Radiant Heart

Hallelujah Chorus by Trista Hendren and Anders Løberg

Witches We Have Heard on High (Sung Angels We Have Heard on High) by Margi Curtis

The Average Woman's Christmas Day (Sung to Deck the Halls) by Margi Curtis

Hark the Hairy Women Sing (sung to Hark the Harold Angels Sing) by Margi Curtis

The Big Drummer Woman (sung to The Little Drummer Boy) by Margi Curtis

The Coventry Carol (Lullay, Thou Little Tiny Child) - re-written by Sharon Smith

Do You Hear What I Hear - re-written by Sharon Smith

Silver Bells - re-written by Sharon Smith

Ancient Yuletide Goddess (sung to In the Bleak Midwinter) - re-written by Dr. Lynne Sedgmore

O Come all ye Faithful - re-written by Dr. Lynne Sedgmore

Angels from the Realms of Glory - re-written by Dr. Lynne Sedgmore

Joy to the World - re-written by Alissa DeLaFuente

Arc Of Stars (Sung to Boston, an American Christmas hymn) re-written Claire Dorey

I Wonder As I Wander by Rebekah Myers

Wanted:
I'll Be Home for Christmas
O Little Town of Bethlehem
The First Noel
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
The Christmas Song
Let it Snow
Winter Wonderland
Huron Carol
White Christmas

Edited by Trista Hendren, Sharon Smith and Pat Daly
Cover art by Kat Shaw

Scheduled publication: October 2022

Please send your submissions to submissions@girlgod.org by June 15th, 2022 with the book title in your subject line. Please note that we cannot accommodate any late submissions or corrections. Please be sure that your song is not subject to any copyright restrictions prior to submission.

Submission Guidelines:
Please send your finished piece in a Word document. Calibri size 12 font is preferred. Please do not use any fancy formatting or fonts as it creates a lot more work on our end. Make sure to spell check before your submission.

Art should be sent in high resolution as a JPG. You may submit more than one piece for consideration, but due to the volume of submissions, please only send your best work.

Please note that our preference is to re-write these in a way that does not use male-centric language. We would like this collection to be woman and Goddess affirming.

Please also include a bio under 150 words.

Accepted contributors will receive a contributor's copy of the book and the option to order as many copies of the book as they'd like at cost during the pre-order period to sell or gift as they wish.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

On Dreaming Big - Trista Hendren

 


Work in progress by Anders Løberg*

These last years have taught me to dream big—and embrace the LARGENESS of my heart.

Connecting to the power and love of Goddess through ritual has been a big thing for me lately. The last year, I purchased a Sistrum after being inspired by several of the pieces in our Isis anthology. I have rattled many dreams into existence—and found my strength again.

A few months before that, I purchased an Incantation Bowl, inspired by the words and imagery in Sue Monk Kidd's inspiring novel, The Book of Longings. In it, the main character pronounces over her bowl: “Bless the largeness inside me, no matter how I fear it.”1

For too long, women have played small. It is not surprising, given that for centuries, women were tortured and even killed for their power. For too long, the work of women has been devalued. And that goes beyond the work of mothering and care-taking. Our artistic accomplishments are also undervalued and underpaid. Even feminist work has not been valued—despite the fact that it has done so much for women around the world.

But I feel a real turning point, especially in the last year.

We are collectively reclaiming all the broken and stolen pieces of ourselves.

So, I want to announce my big, big intention—and plan for a Goddess House here in Bergen, Norway, where I now live. To stake our claim on this big dream, my husband Anders has begun to reconstruct the giant Willendorf statue pictured here in the anthology—in our front yard. We were delayed by Bergen's famous weather and many other obstacles, but remained undeterred. We will reveal the final statue on Saturday.
 

This statue will not go unnoticed. We want to reignite a movement to put women back front and center—as the living Goddesses that we are.

We toured the museums of Vienna extensively when we visited Tamara Albanna and her family. My daughter ate it all up. But I could not help but notice the utter lack of female artists. As the Guerrilla Girls asked on one of their posters, “Do women have to be naked to get into the Met Museum? – Less than 5% of the artists in the Modern Art sections are women, but 85% of the nudes are female.”

We originally planned to call it the Willendorf Museum, but then decided the Norsk Goddess Freya was more appropriate for our location—and 'museum' sounded too limited and old fashioned. So, we have decided to call it Freya House. I have purchased one of Lydia Ruyle’s Freya banners to hang near our front door and boldly declare our intention.

We plan to have a museum filled with women's art from around the world; artist-in-residence suites; rooms to create all sorts of art; a restaurant and cafe; a library; a gift shop filled with Goddess books, art, jewelry, music and more; a concert hall for Goddess music—and much, much more. We hope to attract visitors from around the world—and school children from throughout the country.

And of course, we will have a Willendorf Room, dedicated to Her!

More importantly, it is my dream to raise enough money for the opening to invite as many of the Foremothers of the Goddess Spirituality movement here as possible—all expenses paid.

So many of these women have given their entire life in service—without much back from all of us. This is not the Goddess way. And it is my intention for all of us doing this work—that we live abundant and glorious lives. And that those benefiting from this work better support the women who have brought forth so much ancient wisdom.

If you would like to help make this dream a reality, make sure to sign up for my mailing list on my website so you can get updates on this exciting project: www.thegirlgod.com.

This essay was adapted from a chapter in Willendorf's Legacy: The Sacred Body.

*Inspired by our Willendorf anthology, my husband, Anders, began building an enormous Goddess of Willendorf statue in our front yard, modelled after the one outside of Vienna, but closer in proportions to the original (4.4 inches) Willendorf.

She will be over 6ft tall and 4ft wide, weighing in at more than 2 tons. She is made primarily of cement made from sea shells, but also many upcycled materials, including broken pieces of my Grandmother's China, oyster shells, steel, chicken fence, steel wire, old tools, birds net, rope and more!) Her breasts are mixed with milk; Her womb and yoni are mixed with menstrual blood; her belly is filled with pasta, red wine and other goodies. Her head is filled with early proof copies of Girl God Books.

1 Kidd, Sue Monk. The Book of Longings. Viking; 2020.

Monday, October 4, 2021

When The Colour Of Emotion Floods The Nervous System by Claire Dorey

 

Arlene Bailey, ''Rage of a Woman''


“I Am Woman Hear Me Roar.” -Helen Reddy

Rape is red, blue and black.

Red is blood. Blue is bruises. Black is trauma.

Red is the menstrual Muladhara, a downward cleansing tide of energy that connects the ‘blood root of existence’ to Mother Earth. Mula ‘root’ and dhara ‘in flow’ are primordial, intelligent, purifying actions – completed by the moon. Muladhara flows down to Gaia and up to Divine Female Cosmic Power. To violate this sanctum is the ultimate act of savagery, upon the survivor, the Goddess and the creative force of life itself.

Blue is shock. It is the liminal, safe space above the body, where the soul escapes to, when the body-mind freezes and pain can no longer be endured. Just as bruises fade, blue cedes to the violet of cosmic ‘knowing’. Trauma unleashes a state of hyper awareness. Learning to surf this wave unlocks boundless vaults of intuition and clarity. A healed survivor can never be fooled.

Black is the abyss. Dissociation. Disconnect. Chaos. A coffin- shaped space of grief and mourning. Black is damage and flashbacks. The cosmic void. The place of death, internal battles, self-loathing, renewal, recovery, resolve and magic. The womb of time where the immense and terrifying forces of destruction and creation reside.

When a daughter is raped, her mother is reminded of her own rape. When Red becomes Rage it is Raw, as raw as the welts lacerating Boudicca’s flesh, from her public whipping. Boudicca’s story is about harnessing the molten menstrual larva of Red Rage as it heaves, in response to the attack upon her daughters, like vomit, out of every orifice.

When Catus Decianus seized Boudicca’s land, he threw her daughters, Isolda and Siora, to the slaves and soldiers, as if he was throwing meat to a dog. This was a Roman rape, in the tradition of the spectacle of the Colosseum, where lions are slaughtered and gladiators fight for survival before a salacious crowd, frenzied with blood-lust. Violence for gratuitous violence sake. It was a trophy rape, of hierarchy, nationalism and public humiliation, where slaves and soldiers, fight for their master’s scraps.

It was a political rape, a culture clash, between the extreme patriarchy of the conquerors and the matrifocal values of the colonised. It was Rome telling Briton, her Warrior Women had no voice. No more decision making, owning land or inheriting titles. It was the ultimate form of power and control, silencing ALL women.

In Rome there were good women and there were bad women – madonnas and whores. Good women were good mothers – defined by the values of the Roman male. Other behaviours were viewed as stepping out of line.

Isolda and Siora were no more than twelve when they were attacked and Boudicca was forced to watch.

What sort of sick regime brutalises the vulnerable like this? How do a mother and child recover from such sadism?

Fight is Red. Flight is Blue. Freeze is Black. The Fight, Flight, Freeze mechanism can kick in so violently, it cripples the survivor, possibly for years. Confusion. Anxiety. Numbness. Disconnect. Goodbye feeling safe. Hello bouts of shame, flashbacks and complex trauma. Victims and witnesses of violence need prompt physical and psychological care. There can be no rights or wrongs in recovery. It is a personal journey.

-An excerpt of a longer paper in our upcoming anthology, In Defiance of Oppression -The Legacy of Boudicca 


Claire Dorey
Goldsmiths: BA Hons Fine Art.
Main Employment: Journalist and Creative, UK and overseas.
Artist: Most notable group show; Pillow Talk at the Tate Modern. Included in the Pillow Talk Book.

Curator: 3 x grass roots SLWA exhibitions and educational events on the subject of Female Empowerment, showcasing female artists, academic speeches and local musicians. Silence Is Over – Raising awareness on violence towards women; Ex Voto – Existential Mexican Art Therapy; Heo – Female empowerment in the self-portrait.

Extra study: Suppressed Female History: History of the Goddess; Accessing Creative Wisdom; Sound and Breath Work; Reiki Master; Colour Therapy; Hand Mudras; Reflexology; Sculpture.
Teaching Workshops: Sculpture and Drawing.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Boudicca’s Prayer on the Birth of Her First Daughter by Hayley Arrington

 

Art by Lucy Pierce


I have labored long
and I come to you now
with my prize, a daughter,
O, Invincible One!
My daughter,
newly born,
still wet with birth—
My limbs still stiff
from bracing and birthing.
O, Lady,
my daughter is my true Victory!
At the precipice, I cried your name—
I thank thee, Andraste, and call upon thee as woman speaking to woman*
I have risen from childbed.
I will rise to motherhood
and anything else that comes my way
for I am under your protection
now and always.

*This line is a supposed quote of Boudicca’s, from Historia Romana by Dio Cassius

Poem and art from our upcoming anthology, In Defiance of Oppression -The Legacy of Boudicca.

Hayley Arrington is a mythologist, poet, and writer. She received her MA in women’s spirituality from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA, where she wrote her thesis on Celtic sun goddesses. Her writings have appeared in various publications online and in print, including previous Girl God publications, On the Wings of Isis and Inanna’s Ascent; Whole and Holy: A Goddess Devotional, and SageWoman Magazine. Her interests include mythology and folklore as sacred text, writing essays, fiction and poetry, and discovering women’s myriad ways of knowing. She is a polytheist Witch and is particularly devoted to Pelasgian Hera. Hayley is from the greater Los Angeles area, where she lives with her husband and son. Learn more at her Arthurian Witch blog at loathlylady.wordpress.com.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Why We Need the Boudica Spirit Today by Sharon Smith

 

Art by Lady Wolf


Boudica (Latinized as Boadicea) was an Iceni woman born c. 30 CE, married at age 18 to Prasutagus, King of the Iceni, a tribe of early Britons. The memory of this ancient queen might never have survived the annals of Time, except for one important fact: She was a strong woman who was not content to sit back, after her husband died and left her a widow. Prasutagus had become a “client king” of Rome: The Roman general assigned to Britain, Suetonius Paulinus, pretty much let Prasutagus run things in his “neck of the woods” so long as he paid taxes to Rome and obeyed Paulinus and was loyal the Roman Emperor. But Boudica, on the other hand, did not favor Roman rule at all. And when the Romans sought to humiliate her, following Prasutagus’s death, by beating her, raping her two young daughters, and taking her wealth and lands, she would not be silenced.

And here is where her Warrior Woman comes out in a blaze of glory. She rallied her tribe with brilliant, inspiring rhetoric and even got other Briton tribes that had been at odds with the Iceni to rally together with them under her banner to fight against the Romans. That, in itself, was quite an accomplishment. As a unified army, they marched on Camulodunum (Colchester), routing the Roman division there and sending the Imperial agent fleeing for his life to Gaul. Then Boudica and her troops stormed Londinium (London) and Verulamium (St. Albans), sacking and burning the towns.

Unfortunately, these Briton victories, under a WOMAN no less, angered Suetonius Paulinus, who struck back against the Britons with a vengeance and decimated Boudica’s army. Boudica, herself, was not killed in the fray, but it is recorded that she took poison and ended her own life, rather than be taken as a slave of the Romans.

From that history, you may wonder why I see Boudica as a much-needed feminine icon for today: She lost, right? Well, she may have lost the battle, but she won the admiration of her people and even some of the Romans. One Roman historian, Cassius Dio, said of her, “The Britons mourned her deeply and gave her a costly burial.”

Boudica remains a figure of sovereignty and strength for women everywhere. She could have sat back and allowed the Romans to take her lands and her possessions; she could have become a servant to Rome, as had her husband, Prasutagus. But Boudica had a backbone and it wasn’t about to bend. She wanted her people to be free and their lands and possessions to belong to them, not to some foreign power. So, she fought back as valiantly and as fiercely as any male warrior.

What can we learn from this ancient Wild Warrior Woman?
  • Conflicts come, and it’s better to face them, rather than run from them.
  • Stand your ground; set your boundaries and don’t let others violate them.
  • You’re capable of much more than you think you are.
  • So, think confidently; speak confidently; and act confidently.
  • If hardships and difficulties come, rather than allowing them to defeat you, let them be the very stepping stones that will bring you closer to your goal.
  • There’s a time and a place to let that wild warrior woman out: Stay in touch with her! She’ll let you know!
  • Your freedoms are worth fighting for, even if, in the end, you lose the battle. Your willingness to stand up for those freedoms just may inspire others to do the same!
Boudica is one of my historical Sheroes. Whenever I hear her name, I feel a surge of pride in my womanity, because Boudica was a woman, just like you or me. What set her apart is that she walked in her sovereignty against all odds and, even in defeat, she ultimately won. Because she held on to the respect of her people, her nation and even her adversaries.

Now THAT’s a Warrior Woman I’m proud to follow!

Excerpt from our upcoming anthology, In Defiance of Oppression -The Legacy of Boudicca.

Sharon Smith is a writer, ghost writer, editor, and proofreader with a passion for helping women reconnect with their Authentic Selves and Voices. She loves & honors the Great Mother in all Her many forms, and has a deep connection to Nature. She identifies as a Green Witch and follows an eclectic spiritual path that is a blending of Native American and Celtic Teachings, both in her ancestral line.