Wednesday, June 2, 2021

I Inherit Your Name, Morrigan by Mary Ellen Talley


The Morrigan Mask by Lauren Raine


oh, shapeshifter / crow shadow against
full moon / death / oh, slumbering waking /
what is there about distortion / chiaroscuro
smudging / that prepares us to wear
long-forgotten garments / how can / she
be both for death and life / her rough wool /
layers of flowing silk / don’t goddesses
have to choose / is she not temptress
of contradictions / fertility / combines
with fog / the crow is hiding in the dense black /
but forgets about silence / I know the crone
is coming back to trick me / compassion
is not her bailiwick / her silence harsh
ink dark / if true her breasts form hills
of Kerry / and she is bird / then mountains
fly upon the breeze / her silver beak /
her lips / my conscience conscientious
disavows her blame / my sins are plenty /
I want her story to bequeath / healing /
if I spell her name and drop / r-i-g/ dead
in the middle / I see my maiden name /
she is goddess of our family anger /
we are three sisters / cacophony
of outrage at our stumbling / though
her sisters’ trinity begot St. Patrick’s
that we adopted / I cannot refuse
to juxtapose this goddess /
of my contradictions / request
that she remain with me / one night /
as if upon the fog’s low layer / she
might wander off / retrieve my mother /
father / sister /brother / through
a corridor of messages / of which
the sun is seeking / past / before
laurel / hawthorn / lilac bloom /she
retreats into her shrine / this passage tomb
Newgrange / where I find / my name/
my sisters’ names / upon her lips

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

Mary Ellen Talley’s poems have recently been published in Raven Chronicles, U City Review and Ekphrastic Review as well as in the anthologies, All We Can Hold and Ice Cream Poems. Her poetry has received two Pushcart Nominations.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Swing-set Over the Moon by Alyssa Spungen

 

Beatrice Alemagna

Mother,
I would like to see myself in all things.

“Child,
You are everything.”

“It is all a lie,” She tells
me,
shape-shifting from
a dense mass,
to liquefied light
to a replica
of the Earth.

“I am not what
you think I am.”

“I am The Morrigan~
Macha, Badb, Anu, Nemain, Aine, Danu, Raven, Crow, Cattle, Wolf, Horse, Eel, Swan.

Who are you?”

I am a quiet
girl,
my feet dangling
over the reflection
of a safe night.
I am over the center
of the lake.
How did I get here?
What is the truth?
Why me?
Is the moon a small
Earth, or a mirror
for the sun, or made
of dark plastic?

I lean my head to the
right and go to sleep,
relaxing in Her mystery.

“It is in transitions you see most clearly,” She whispered.
“Every part of you is natural.”

“The part that does not change, ancestral and potent, and the parts that do, fertility and evolution, will and civilizing art, psychic and medium, warrior and scavenger, death and liminality, Sorceress, Lover and Sovereign.”

She is all of it,
and in some small way,
so am I,
born to be in awe of Her,
to let her inside,
to show me the fullness
of Being,
to be material for creation.

An excerpt from our upcoming anthology, Warrior Queen: Answering the Call of The Morrigan.

Alyssa Spungen (she/her/hers) works in Behavioral Health, is a Yoga teacher and Dream-worker in Tucson, AZ. Alyssa posts magick and dream-related things on Instagram @yourdreamfish.



Call for Interviews: Making Love with the Divine: Sacred, Ecstatic, Erotic Experiences

 

 

A call for participants willing to be interviewed by Kay Turner for a Girl God publication Making Love with the Divine: Sacred, Ecstatic, Erotic Experiences.


We invite willing interviewees to share via Zoom a verbal account or artistic creation of their own personal experience of embodied erotic union with the Divine. Solo experiences of this, during the creative process or self-pleasure, are especially welcomed.  Interviewees can remain anonymous.


Some of the experiences the book may explore are:

·                  Sexual Spirituality

·                  Erotic Spirituality

·                  Divine Orgasm

·                  Self-pleasure and Divine Union

·                  Sacred Sexual Union

·                  Embodied Erotic Mysticism

·                  Ecstatic experiences and Spiritual Ecstasy

·                  Goddess/God-Human Erotic Union

·                  Eros

 

Written and Edited by Kay Turner
Art by Arna Baartz


Scheduled publication: 2023

Interviewee Guidelines:
Interviews will be conducted by Kay Turner (in English) via Zoom before Dec 31st 2021 and will last 30-60 minutes.  Interviews will be recorded.  They will be deleted once the book is completed.

Please send your request to be interviewed, a short bio (under 150 words) and a brief paragraph about what you will be sharing to submissions@girlgod.org by 22nd Sept 2021.

Please note that we cannot accommodate any late submissions or corrections.


The Washer at the Ford by Lauren Hershey

 

She Who Is Art

They call me the Washer at the Ford.

I stand vigil at the intersection of rivers,
Where you come to cross with clanging swords.
I feel your grim fortune as an icy shiver
And mourn the knowledge I must deliver –
A choice that is meant to be yours.

My disheveled apparition is not a ruse.
I know this news comes freshly laundered for you,
But I have been cleansing it from my mind’s long queue.
All the prophetic tribulations and trials anew,
They clang about with kaleidoscopic hues.

Oh, would they just spew out my lips for transparent review.

Is it amusing?
To see what you want to see, to do as you choose?
What freedom must lie in your refusal,
To not know which ends and ways to pursue.
Yet, the clues all lead to the same destination:
Your true path and its cues.

They call me the Washer at the Ford.

I douse the bloody rags of those who seek
Battles before their time, all grim and bleak,
Filled with macabre purpose, no peace to speak.
I beseech you, let this stench reek.

Let its vapors warn others who walk this path
A clarion call for the scavenger’s wrath
Hark! Here shall be the last bloodbath.

Here, at the Ford, where harbingers have
Gathered in hopeful mourning,
Shape-shifting Phantastes take flight as a warning.

Visions of raven feathers streak overhead,
Filling you with inspiration or piercing dread,
Calling your heart to act with humility or demanding your head.
Which path do you choose to heed?
Where are you led?

You cannot evade or delay the plucked flower,
Offered to you by the riverside, in the bower.
You cannot ignore spoken truth to power,
In this, your fateful hour.

Oh, how my linens drip with lore and the gore
Of all those who fought for false glory
As I keen and wail with fury.

Pray tell, dear One, what is your hurry?

I am the Morrigan.

I foretell your story.

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

Lauren Hershey is an avid storyteller, writer of speculative fiction and poetry, and an unconventional Plutonian who revels in weaving creativity from the unseen realms into practical everyday use. Since 2012, she has worked in international conflict transformation and peacebuilding, interpersonal conflict resolution, education, and storytelling. Lauren is passionate about equipping individuals and communities with resources for self-discovery and empowerment and tools to navigate and transform conflict narratives with courage and empathy.

Call for Submissions: The Crone Initiation and Invitation. Women speak on the Menopause Journey

 


Girl God Books is accepting submissions for our upcoming Anthology of women’s writing: The Crone Initiation and Invitation: Women speak on the Menopause Journey.

We invite writings and art about experiences of perimenopause and menopause and how Goddess is part of the journey.

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:

·       How Goddess has or is supporting your journey through perimenopause and menopause.

·       What Crone means to you

·       Goddess Spirituality and Perimenopause

·       Your experience of the Crone Initiation

·       Your experience of the Crone Invitation

·       Patriarchy and menopause

·       Goddess presence during the menopause journey

·       Breakdowns and breakthroughs with Goddess

·       Disintegration and rebuilds with Goddess

 

Edited by Kay Turner, Trista Hendren and Pat Daly
Cover Art by Kat Shaw

Scheduled publication: 2022

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.

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

 


Friday, May 21, 2021

Making love with the Divine by Kay Turner

 

Sophia, Goddess of the All -- by Norman E. Masters

 Sacred, mystical, erotic experiences are probably more common than we realise. It is difficult to ascertain their frequency as they are rarely talked about in mainstream spiritual and religious circles. This ecstatic and rapturous way of experiencing the Divine is embedded within the antiquity of spirituality and world religions. Patriarchal concealment of these occurrences was (and still is) likely motivated by suppression of the power of the body to commune with the Sacred, and therefore is an undermining of the Feminine.


The Christian mystic St Teresa of Avilla wrote of spiritual bliss in a deeply visceral way, akin to orgasm, in her autobiography. ‘The Life of Teresa of Jesus’. The passage below was the stimulus for Bernini’s sculpture ‘The Ecstasy’, found in the Cornaro Chapel in the Italian church of Santa Maria Della Vittoria.

‘I saw in his [the angel’s] hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it.’


Modern Priestesses are increasingly embracing the ancient path and medicine of Sacred Sexuality. The Hieros Gamos, re-enacting fertility rites and the holy marriage of god/goddess, is a ritual many Priestesses are adopting within their sexual activities but also, from my own experience, within solo, self-pleasure practices.

Making love with the Divine moves self-pleasure into the realms of mysticism and opens up an erotic portal to past-life remembrances and re-embodiment of Sacred Feminine gnosis. Energetically we are offered the opportunity to integrate and balance yin and yang – receiving and giving – feminine and masculine within us. We can connect to our own divinity, goddess/god within us. Calling in, through the imaginal realms, eros and inspiration and the flow of Spirit, can support transcendent orgasm, energy and consciousness expansion and a deeper communion with the Sacred within and without, above and below.

Kay Turner.

Education. Evolution. Embodiment. Growing Sacred Womanhood.

www.anotherlogonthefire.com

 

 


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.