Sunday, May 16, 2021

On Acceptance by Trista Hendren

 



“After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth…
And you learn and learn…
With every good-bye you learn.”
-Veronica A. Shoffstall

My crone Counselor of sorts, Pat Graves, gave me this poem when I was pregnant with my son 19 years ago. When I started seeing her, her first requirement of all her clients was that they gave up drinking for the introductory period - just to rule that out as an issue. As a recovering alcoholic herself, Pat knew that that alone quickly solved a multitude of issues. I did not realize I was newly pregnant on that first meeting, but I quickly agreed and kept my commitment.

When I brought in my partner, Joe, for couple's counseling, he also immediately agreed, and then proceeded to call me a few hours later after 2 martinis...

That was the beginning of a very difficult relationship and the subject of at least one book already. So I don't want to go there today.

My mother has been sending me boxes of memories lately. Some are delightful, like my grandmother's china and a table cloth I gifted her after my trip to Croatia in 2001.




Others are painfullike the journal I kept when my children were young.

I don't know why I kept that journal. I had ripped 30 earlier journals to shreds that I had written since I was 7 years old. I regret that now, but it was satisfying at the time. I suppose I couldn't bring myself to destroy anything with my children in it. So this one remainedlong with those I have kept since.

When we moved to Norway 6 years ago, we were broke. So, we only brought 4 suitcases for the 3 of us. The last of what wasn't sold or given away has been in my mother's storage. I didn't remember keeping so much stuff. We had downsized several times already from an enormous and glorious home in the suburbs to smaller and smaller rented houses on the other side of town. Toward the end, I was throwing nearly everything out in a flurry.

It has taken me a long time to accept much of my life. I have always wanted things to be different. The best I could do was to make sure they were better for my children―and radically change the rest of my life.
I haven't been writing much lately other than my personal journals. I have been editing modeand there is a place for that. But something struck me on the front page of that journal. A commitment to write more often. Ironically, I have written and published a lot since then, but not given myself much of a chance to ponder the deeper things within myself.



Yesterday would have been Joe's 50th birthday and it is something I have reflected on for many weeks. The one chapter that has stayed with me all these years later from my year of Al-Anon was the one on Acceptance in the Big Book. I don't want to quote it here because there is too much God language for me now, but it was spot on. Acceptance is often a hard pill to swallow. I think Cheryl Strayed perhaps said it best.

“Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you'll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you'll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.”

So the last days, I have been good to myself. I am grateful for the children Joe gave me. I see the best parts of him in both of them.

The photo at the top was after an extended stay at Betty Ford in 2008. Joe had been in and out of rehabs since he was 15. None of them stuck. Some things don't heal. Not in this lifetime at least.

The kids had not seen their dad for many months and were so excited when he walked through that door. They did not see him the last years of his life either. It had become 'unmanageable,' as they say in AA.

Joe died of alcoholism shortly before Thanksgiving in 2016.

Acceptance is indeed a small, quiet room.

I still feel the grief a child, at least today. But I finally have my head up and my eyes open. And I fucking love this life I have recreated for myself and my children.

Happy 50th birthday Joe. You always knew how to live BIGand I am taking birthday week off in your honor. And, happy 15th birthday to our precious creation, Helani Claire, who is 15 today. I know you would have been so tickled with her.




Friday, May 14, 2021

Where You’re Supposed to Be by Molly Remer

 

Photo by Paul Nixon



What if staying safe and comfortable

is not where you’re supposed to be?
What if it isn’t supposed to be easy?
What if that raw edge
to your nerves,
that streak of pain on your skin,
that pang in your heart,
are the signs
that your soul is growing,
that you’re on the verge
of an emergence
that would not be possible
without being
exactly where you are right now:
wild-eyed,
sharp-edged,
weary,
ragged,
fierce
and howling?

Listen
I am the Great Queen.
Fate whispers through my feathers
And winds through the songs of history.
I am she who transforms
I protect life with ferocity
And I walk freely with death.


Poem and photo from our upcoming anthology, Warrior Queen: Answering the Call of The Morrigan.

Molly Remer has been gathering the women to circle, sing, celebrate, and share since 2008. She plans and facilitates seasonal retreats and rituals, mother-daughter circles, family ceremonies, and red tent circles in rural Missouri. She is a priestess who holds MSW, M.Div, and D.Min degrees and wrote her dissertation about contemporary priestessing in the U.S. Molly and her husband Mark co-create Story Goddesses, original goddess sculptures, ceremony kits, mini goddesses, and more at Brigid’s Grove. Molly is the author of Womanrunes, Earthprayer, the Goddess Devotional, Sunlight on Cedar, Whole and Holy, She Lives Her Poems, Walking with Persephone (forthcoming from Womancraft Publishing) and The Red Tent Resource Kit and she writes about thealogy, nature, practical priestessing, and the goddess at Patreon, Brigid’s Grove, Feminism and Religion, and Sage Woman Magazine.

brigidsgrove.etsy.com
patreon.com/brigidsgrove


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Morrigan, Mother of Sacred Wrath: Why Being Angry is Necessary by Iriome R. Martín Alonso

 

Art by Iriome R. Martín Alonso

In a lot of Goddess-based spiritualities they/we tend to eliminate Goddesses of War considering them “allies to the patriarchy” (i.e., Athena, Innana, Trebaruna, Morrigan Herself), based in books with little to no archaeological evidence as well as no regards for history. I do agree that re-writing herstory is necessary, imperative even, but not on the foundations of idealistic lies that do us no good; what’s most important is that we are mutilating a part of ourselves in the process when we claim Goddesses of War should be extinguished or are a corruption, depraved version of all-nurturing mothering ones. The truth is, they are normally both.

An ideal world where Goddess values are revered is something we should be inspired by and work together into manifesting on Earth, but based on real knowledge, evidence, fact. What is the difference, then, between those who claim to work with the shadow and at the same time renegade from wrath – and New Age rhetoric (or even male monotheistic faiths) that repress our darkness to pursue a fabricated ideal of “purity” that is simply not real? If we choose arbitrarily what shadows can be included in our personal and collective narrative, are we being honest with ourselves or just choosing what makes us less uncomfortable?

Violence is natural to all creatures and to Nature Herself. Have you ever witnessed a birth? That’s the first act of violence we endure, when we are taken away from the soft, warm embrace of the womb that shelters us, feeds us and protects us into a dry, stimulus-filled world that blinds us just as we open our eyes before we can ever hear our parent’s heartbeats. But being born is necessary to live, no matter how violent it is.

An excerpt from ''Morrigan, Mother of Sacred Wrath: Why Being Angry is Necessary'' in our upcoming anthology, Warrior Queen: Answering the Call of The Morrigan.

Iriome R. Martín Alonso is a Priestess of the Goddess and an anthropology and performing arts student, born in the Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, 1996). Practising over a decade now, she considers being a witch her identity, paganism her religion and being a priestess her vocational job. She works from archetypes, ritual drama, performance, symbol and emotion, with a deep background on traditional european magic as well as academic knowledge. She focuses on endemic spiritualities from her lands, the Canary Islands and the Iberian Peninsula, as well as hellenic, celtic and avalonian deities/spirits, and offers courses, meditations, rites of passage, ceremonies and sacred theatre.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

A Reckoning with The Morrigan by Iris Eve

Becoming Morrigan Barbara O' Meara


what arrogance you show
strutting around
like you own this place

wearing your inhumanity
like a badge of honor

you desecrate the very air
with the stench of your entitlement

your violence reeks of weakness

you feed on fear
& harness power through pain

you prey like a monster

& i have been here
silently watching you
all
this
time

i watched you violate Her daughters
i watched you enslave Her sons
i watched you poison the very well
from which you drink

you betray your own heart
you make weak your own will

& now
in Her name
i have come
wearing her wrath
bearing your fate
bringing victory to victims
i feed on monsters

i have been sent to reclaim you
devour you
decay you
turn you over
like compost
until you are humus

only then you will know humility
only there you will remember sovereignty

this is your reckoning

Poem and art from our upcoming anthology, Warrior Queen: Answering the Call of The Morrigan

Iris Eve is a poet, singer-songwriter, artist, tarot reader and the founder and curator of "SHE On The Tip Of Her Tongue”, a popular social media site that amplifies the voices and art of women. You can find her at cunningandkeening.com

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Call for Submissions: Just as I am: Hymns Affirming the Divine Female

 



Girl God Books is accepting submissions for our upcoming ''Hermnal'' - Just as I am: Hymns Affirming the Divine Female.

Because we want to avoid duplication, we will continue to update this post with a list of re-written hymns. Please note, we have another collection of Goddess Chants and songs - as well as one specific to Solstice Carols. This book will focus on re-writing patriarchal hymns into woman-affirming ''Hermns.''  We are also interested in joyous artwork of women singing or playing instruments.

So far, we have:

Washed in the Blood (re-written by Patricia Lynn Reilly)
Just as I Am (re-written by Trista Hendren)
The Old Rugged Cross (re-written to The Old Rounded Crone by Trista Hendren)
I Love to Tell Her Story (sung to the tune of "I Love to Tell the Story" - re-written by Sharon Smith)
Holy Holy Holy (re-written by Sharon Smith ''She Who Is Our Mother! Goddess All-Lovely'')  
I Fled From the Garden Today (sung to the tune of "In the Garden" - re-written by Sharon Smith)
Goddess I Hear You (sung to the tune of ''Here I Am Lord, Lord of Sea and Sky'' - re-written by Dr Lynne Sedgmore)

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

Scheduled publication: October 2021

Please send your submissions to submissions@girlgod.org by August 30th, 2021 with the book title in your subject line. Please note that we cannot accommodate any late submissions or corrections.

Submission Guidelines:
Please send your finished piece in a Word document. 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 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.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Education with Goddess? by Kay Turner

 

Art by Lisa Visserpic

How and what are we conditioned to learn?

My experiences of UK government led education – pedagogy, content, and systems - both as student and teacher, are that we are taught and conditioned to learn in a way that complete dissociates us from the body, and therefore Goddess.

Methods and systems of teaching age 11 years and up, still predominantly perpetuate the patriarchal structure of omnipotent teacher who has ‘power over’, the font of all knowledge, pontificating and feeding the masses with the ordained ‘knowledge’ decided by the powers that be, ultimately in Westminster. To sum it up, in classrooms its generally a case of the child sitting still (not drinking and certainly not going to the toilet, unless they get permission to meet their inconvenient bodily needs) listening to and receiving the ‘chalk and talk’, which entirely bypasses all things feminine; creativity, feeling and intuition. Achievement is based on exam performance, linear memory recall, answering questions with structure and logic ingrained through rote practice. Our inner locus of control, knowing and power is conditioned out of us.

Content taught, although now including token women’s voice in some subject areas, is predominantly focused on the male experience. The final bastion of patriarchy reigns in Religious Studies/Education. There is little mention of woman or the Sacred Feminine, perhaps the odd nod to her in Social Issues and Hinduism content, but Goddess – no mention. Earth based sacred practice – no mention. Experiencing divinity through the body – no mention. Priestesses – nothing.

We are being conditioned that the feminine and the body are not of ‘God’, Sacred or Divine. They are being conditioned out of us.


Kay Turner.  Sacred Education.  Growing and empowering Sacred Womanhood.

#educationevolveembody  

www.anotherlogonthefire.com



Sunday, May 2, 2021

Join us for the Reclamation by Monette Chilson



Myths are the building blocks of our consciousness. The most powerful myths are those that help us access the Divine. If every sacred myth you absorb revolves around a hero rather than a heroine, that inhibits your ability to see yourself as the heroine in your own story and you are likely to fall back into a coping archetype like martyr or stay stuck in one that lacks self-sovereignty like maiden.

Together, over the next nine weeks, we will use the potent story of Lilith to guide us from abandonment to reclamation.

You may be wondering what that means. Perhaps you have a conscious abandonment wound—a father or mother who wasn't present in your life. Or you may have an unnamed emptiness where you just know something is missing. Maybe you find yourself running into the same blocks over and over again.
Abandonment looks different for each of us. But mythology's nature is to meet us where we are and mirror our truths to us. Even—perhaps especially—the truths that are hidden from us.
 
It might be helpful to think in terms of micro-abandonments and macro-abandonments. The micro-abandonments are specific to your own life. They are the wounds that resulted from your specific lived experience—the wounds that led to us feeling abandoned and that, in turn, lead us to abandon important parts of our self. These can be generational patterns; family of origin dysfunction; trauma; or specific life events that led to feelings or patterns of abandonment in us.

Macro-abandonments are abandonments that we—as women living at this specific point in history—experience collectively. These are the cultural narratives about what a woman is or isn't that we all absorb. Central to this macro-abandonment is the loss of the Divine Feminine. We were not given words, images or practices to experience Her.

When our culture abandoned Her, it led us to abandon the parts of ourselves where She is most alive.
 
In this course, we will use the mythological archetype of Lilith as the antidote to the conditioning we received. Through her story, we will recover a creation story that validates all of our feminine parts and allows us to reclaim what we have been denied and what we have denied ourselves as a result of the missing pieces in the lineage we were handed.
 
That new access you will gain is the reclamation we are moving toward together. Like uncovering the abandonments, the reclamation process will look a little different for each of us. Wherever you discovered an abandonment, you will find a reclamation.

What was lost will be found.