Friday, April 23, 2021

How Do You Experience Eros? by Kay Turner.

 

Art by Arna Baartz


Eros: the powerful force of aliveness; desire, innate in all things in the cosmos, active within our embodiment and imagination.  How do you experience it?

Eros, as a primal instinct to live, moves through me as libido, a pleasure principle, and was and still is the primary force in my ongoing recovery from chronic illness and trauma.  This fuel is beyond ‘me’.  I receive Eros from Gaia’s core and the pulsating flow of her energetic blood, which I connect to via an umbilical cord energetic root.  Eros also penetrates me from the universal cosmic realms, as a benevolent flow of goodness and inspiration.  Shamanic journeying, energy practices and connection with Goddess archetypes and aspects facilitate a deeper receptivity.

It took me a while to know what to ‘do’ with Eros.  Misguided attempts to ‘control’ and intensify it through kundalini practices, set back my recovery significantly.  Eros will not be ‘ruled’ in any way.  Surrendering into the mentorship of Eros, following my BODY, my animal self, my sacred vessel, and learning about and honouring my nervous system and its capacity. has brought me into relationship with divine embodiment and supported chronic illness remission and trauma resolution.

I have found the Eros takes us on our own path and dance with aliveness, self and the sacred.     

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

#educationevolveembody  

www.anotherlogonthefire.com

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Casting the Circle of The Great Queen by Nikki Wardwell Sleath

 

Ravenspirit by Laura Cameron

Among other things, I am a witch, healer, founder and leader of a large, private magickal order and long-term devotee of The Morrigan. As the Great Queen has been entwined in my heart and my magickal practice in a profound way for so many years and has shown herself in her many guises to represent a balanced force of the classical magickal elements, I wanted to share these words of calling her in all of her elemental forms to grace the quarters of the sacred circle. I hope these words help you to connect to the wholeness of her magick, and to enhance and hallow your own sacred space.

“I call to you, Nemhain, and your elements of the East, and of Air. Raven shifter, whipping frenzied tempests… Bringer of tests and riddles that challenge the mind and warp perceptions…Feathered winds of sword-sharp inspiration, I am honored by your presence in this circle.

I call to you, Macha, and your elements of the South, and of Fire. Red-haired queen, stallion-racing champion of stalwart persistence and courage… Rainer of flame, Wolf-sprinting, spearpoint dancer and lady of passion, fueling the ability to influence and win battles, I am honored by your presence in this circle.

I call to you, Babd, and your elements of the West, and of Water. Knowing prophetess, seer, bringer of magickal verses… Riverside washer of the vestments flowing between life and death, Eel-curving, electrifying and conducting, allowing vision into the cauldron of mysteries, I am honored by your presence in this circle.

I call to you, Anu, and your elements of the North, and of Earth. Embedded in the land, bestowing sovereignty and responsibility…Queen of the Mounds of the Otherworld and of the sacred speaking stone…Woman of the heifer’s power and the ultimate ability to rule, I am honored by your presence in this circle.

I call to you, An Morrioghain, and your elements of the Center, of Spirit. Spark of mystery uniting heart and soul, embodiment of deep spiritual mystery and the nature of life and death…Giver and taker, bringer of truths that cut through the questions of mortality and self and ring the resounding call to a higher purpose. I accept your challenge and am honored by your presence in this circle. Go raibh maith agat.”

Art and excerpt from our upcoming anthology: Warrior Queen: Answering the Call of The Morrigan.


Nikki Wardwell Sleath, MA, a direct descendant of one of the colonial citizens of Salem accused and killed for Witchcraft, is a lifelong witch herself. Originally a physical therapist by trade, her foray into integrative health and healing and her spiritual practice and formal training as a witch have led her to a long-term, full-time career teaching magick in her order, the Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick. She is a healer, hypnotherapist, dream work facilitator, author, wife and a mom to two wonderful teenagers. She has also been a teacher and priestess serving at the annual Morrigan’s Call Retreat for several years. All of these aspects of her life have been made more fulfilling by her devotion to the Great Queen, An Morrioghain.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

How to Make a GladiatHER by Bek Paroz

 

The Morrigan Mask by Lauren Raine

She chose the darkness for herself, wallowed in it, embraced it, covering herself in the spoils of war she waged on men, on the living, on the people who would rip her soul out, if she but showed it. She still had the dungeon in place of her heart and she threw the key into a river one day on impulse, to ensure it would never be found, that she would never be broken open. She became powerful in her circles, she gave fear to others, and feasted upon their sweat. She ate their uneasiness around her for snacks in the afternoon.

She crowed in delight when she moved up in the ranks of the world, gaining more power, more prestige, while still shunning all the gloss and glitter that came with it. She embraced the darkness that she had surrounded herself with and thought that this was happiness for her kind. She did not chant for the Morrigan so much anymore, as she found that she could consume others’ frailty, rather than be consumed by them. And she found it delicious. She became darkness.

She grew in power and consumed more, not realizing that she was repeating the mistakes of the past, inflicting on those around her what had been inflicted on her during her childhood. She became a monster. Her father, the king, would have been so proud, had she been in communication with him. She had not. She had cut herself off so firmly, disappearing into another world, that she no longer could even find her way back to the kingdom. And they certainly would never recognize her now.

She kept changing herself. Altering her shape and herself to fit into new worlds, now a lamb, then a wolf, she shifted into a new form to keep from being found, recognized. She refused to be locked into one way of being, allowing herself to recreate at will into someone new with each change of circumstance.

Soon she did not recognize herself. She would look into the mirror and see a creature she had created, but not know its name. She could never decide if that was satisfactory and what she wanted, so she ceased looking. And she ceased caring. She lost even the desire to feed on the fear of others. It had become tasteless and only bitterness was left for her to experience. It did not fulfill her anymore. Nothing did. It all became pointless. Worthless.

Meaningless, insignificant, and hollow. She became numb.

As she allowed herself to become hollow, she faded, and she started to disappear. She stopped doing the things that kept her alive, rejecting nourishment, turning away from even the pleasures she once indulged in so completely. She rejected life and started to seek an ending. She would not call it by its name, rather she heard it call her. She became death. The Morrigan reached for her and she did not resist.

She knew now that death was the third gift of the Morrigan, and she desired to learn it fully.

She chose it, listening to the Morrigan call her name. She embraced the final darkness and let the dimness fall as it would, while she slowly, easily, and willingly slipped away from life.

She heard the Morrigan call her name and answered “Yes.”

She became nothing and embraced it. She held on to nothing, letting go of all that she had done, her past, her future, her hopes, her fears. She looked within and without and it looked the same. Nothing has no colour, no smell, no presence, no texture, no substance; she could not tell the difference between her and the nothing she inhaled and exhaled. People moved around her but she noted nothing of their presence. She spoke of nothing, thought of nothing, and embraced nothing. She desired nothing, and it provided her everything she wished for.

Time passed; she did not know how much. She barely cared, only noting that she was still present in life, despite the embrace of death. There was a flicker, a moment of light, from deep within the dungeon where her heart used to be. The flash surprised her, and for the first time in an eternity, she felt something other than nothing. She breathed in, and received air instead of nothing, for the first time in forever. It felt like hope. She wasn’t ready for that, but she also felt curiosity. She thought perhaps that was a good start for someone starting from nothing, with nothing, knowing nothing. So, she became curious.

When she investigated the flicker, she realized that there was a tiny flame, kept safe in her heart-dungeon, locked away from all that she had done and had been done to her. A little soul-flame that contained herself, before the world had gorged itself on her and she, in return, had consumed darkness. Stepping further inside this neglected part of herself, she saw what had caused the flicker, and she started to sob.

The sorrow, the pain, the despair, the feelings she had frozen out from the minute she became cold; they began to thaw. A flood of emotion flowed out of her at the sight she beheld. She truly let go of all that she had locked away and stored, the rage melting, the river becoming a deluge and she released more and more of that pent up desolation. Inside her lonely, neglected, isolated, mistreated, and unused heart, was a diamond. A thing of beauty, of light, of strength, an exquisite and splendid diamond. All that had crushed her and beaten her down, the weight of that despair and desolation had created so much pressure on her soul, it had transformed into a diamond.

Seeing that inner transformation, she became strength. She started again and she became hope. She breathed in light and became possibility. And with all of this, she realized she was The Morrigan. A warrior. A fighter. A battle-hardened, skilled-in-the-art-of-conflict, learned scholar in the ways of overcoming and surviving.

As she embraced life, hope, possibilities, and the idea that there was a future for her, she realized that her journey had transformed her, shifted her shape from a victim, to a perpetrator, to a survivor, and now she chose to become a revivor. Because in all of this, she realized she had the ability to choose.

And she named herself finally and she called all of her soul into being and revealed it to the world in all its power and magnificence, no longer ashamed for anyone to see. This was the final gift of the Morrigan.

She was the GladiatHER.

She remains so to this day.

Excerpt from How to Make a GladiatHer by Bek Paroz, from our upcoming anthology, Warrior Queen: Answering the Call of The Morrigan.


Through adversity, being a resilient, confident leader, from a woman who employed these skills to conquer early violence and sexual abuse, to leading in the construction world while living with a disability – this is Bek Paroz and her story.

Becky Paroz comes from a dysfunctional family. This combined with a chronic incurable disease diagnosis at age 18, led her on the warrior journey to find her power and her true self. She is a qualified performance coach, a highly experienced mentor to women in male dominated industries, a much-requested public speaker and workshop facilitator. She writes regularly for a wide range of global magazines, has contributed to numerous anthologies, and is working on her first fiction novel. She has become the GladiatHER she needed when she was young. Bek supports all women to step up and showcase their skills.

You can read more of her tale via www.wordsofbek.com.au

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Painted In Blood & Woad by Phoenix Angelis

 

The Great Queen by Andrea Redmond



Lines painted in Woad upon her face.
Blood etched like Tears beneath her eyes.
The tears an Ocean.
Of Pain, Of Grief.
Of Battles Lost & Won.
The war still to be fought.
She looks up at the brush of Raven Wings.
Enfolded in their dark warmth.
Her gaze upon Her face.
Called there by Her touch.
As She paints the Crescent upon her brow.
Claiming Her Daughter.
Naming her Priestess.
Life & Death entwined in beauty on Her face.
Half calling forth a Mother in her Fullness.
The other the stark white Bone of Decay.

The Raven Queen.
Banshee Call of the Battlefield.
Mistress of Land & Sovereignty.
Ever changing Shapeshifter.
Washer At The Ford
Culler & Caller of The Mighty Dead.
Morrigan, The Phantom Queen.
Dark Mother
Though she knows not wholly why She has Chosen her.
She rises Painted in Blood & Woad.
Answering The Morrigan's call.
The Call of The Great Queen.


Poem and art from the upcoming Girl God Anthology, Warrior Queen: Answering the Call of The Morrigan.

Phoenix Angelis, Celtic Nocturnal Witch, has been a practitioner of the Craft for the past 20 years. Though her path has changed over time, it has been a constant source of strength. Narrowing to a more Celtic-centric path in the last six years. The Morrigan's call a more recent shift. Being born with Stage I Cerebral Palsy has given her a unique perspective and shown her what strength & resilience truly mean. Phoenix stands with those who are voiceless, those who struggle. Animals, the disabled, LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and all those who are marginalized.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Call for Submissions - In Defiance of Oppression – The Legacy of Boudicca

 



Girl God Books is accepting submissions for our upcoming Anthology: In Defiance of Oppression – The Legacy of Boudicca.

Personal essays (up to 2,500 words), academic papers, poetry and (black and white) art are welcome. Please keep submissions on-topic, using the title of the anthology as a guide.

Edited by Trista Hendren, Joey Morris and Pat Daly

Cover art by Molly Roberts

Scheduled publication: Fall 2021

Submission Guidelines:
Please send your finished piece in a Word document.  Art should be sent in high resolution.  You may submit more than one piece for consideration, but due to the volume of submissions, please only send your best work.

Please send your submissions to submissions@girlgod.org by June 15, 2021 with the book title in your subject linePlease note that we cannot accommodate any late submissions or corrections.

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.

The previous anthologies in this series are Re-visioning Medusa: from Monster to Divine WisdomInanna's Ascent: Reclaiming Female Power, Original Resistance: Reclaiming Lilith, Reclaiming Ourselves, On the Wings of Isis and Willendorf's Legacy.


Monday, April 12, 2021

When the Warrior Doesn’t Win by Barbara Whiterose Marie McSweeney PhD

She Who Is Art


I worry about the modern-day myth I encounter so often: the one that assures girls and women that if we are just self-knowledgeable enough, determined enough, and confident enough, we will flourish and thrive. Women have always had self-knowledge, determination, and confidence, but we haven’t always flourished or thrived. Boldness and defiance are not always welcome.

Some things are stronger than us. We can be overrun by unwarranted power, by male supremacy, by a zero-sum mentality, and by our families’ passive negligence or active disregard. In a woman-hating culture, spunk is not enough. Nor is a warrior spirit; some warriors lose.

I have journeyed with Macha for twelve years now, and she remains elusive. Her gifts come in the form not of attainment but of awareness. Macha reminds me that, no matter how much self-knowledge, determination, and confidence I have, and no matter how right I may be, I am not omnipotent. Boldness and defiance don’t cut it with those who thirst for domination. On the contrary, a woman’s forthrightness, power, and self-respect may be what triggers aggressors to attack. As in the story of Macha, a woman’s strength may bring out others’ weaknesses.

Sometimes a woman tries to negotiate a patriarchal bargain, thinking that if she accommodates and appeases, and if she sells out other women, she will gain respect and camaraderie from the club. But in doing so, she sacrifices Sovereignty, and she will never, ever receive genuine respect from those to whom she has ceded her integrity and personal power. She will be reminded constantly that her success is an illusion, a pretense offered only at the pleasure of the King. And the King, knowing she knows this, need do nothing more to remind her she is not really a member of the club. She already knows. I’ve seen at least one woman ruined by her efforts to grovel, to placate, and to serve as proxy for male-pattern aggression. I’ve also seen men shunned when they refuse to join in the dance of domination: When a man declines to betray women, thereby forgoing solidarity with men, he too risks being snubbed and smeared.

When I see women caught between the Scylla of compliance and the Charybdis of resistance, Macha reminds me that many, many women and men in human history have lived without full control over their destinies—most people, I would think—but have nevertheless found ways to be in charge. Honoring one’s own integrity and personal power in the face of disenfranchisement is one way to embrace Sovereignty—even when one must stand alone.1

Excerpts from ''When the Warrior Doesn't Win'' in our upcoming anthology, Warrior Queen: Answering the Call of The Morrigan.

Barbara Whiterose Marie McSweeney, Ph.D., is a composer, performer, creative writer, and scholar. Her theatrical presentations and concert works engage with Celtic Goddesses and Spirits, such as Macha, Brigid, Cerridwen, and Awenyddion (her own female version of Taliesin). She is also an idiosyncratic clarinetist, exploring the wonders of the sounding breath through a kinship with the solo Zen repertoire of the Japanese bamboo flute. Current composing/performing projects include duos with shakuhachi performer Riley Lee and with Cape Breton guitarist Charles MacDonald. Barbara Whiterose’s latest CD, Farewell to Music, is forthcoming on Albany Records. She is grateful to Tom Cowan and Susan McClellan for their teachings in Celtic shamanism. Website: iammakingthisup.com.


1 Jessica Johnson depicts the Goddess’s integrity: “As Macha, I am a protector goddess, and you can call on me when you are scared. I will help you to not be afraid, and to stand up for what is right.” (Jessica Johnson, My Name is The Morrigan [The Girl God Books, 2018, Kindle Edition], 28.) Tom Cowan’s Macha (n. 3) ends with an acknowledgment of Macha’s isolation: “But whatever happened to her, Macha is still present whenever people fall in love, make promises, or need courage to stand alone against the crowd.”

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Warrior Queen: Answering the Call of The Morrigan - Preface by Joey Morris

 

Cover art by Arna Baartz


Anger is at the roots, inviting a kind of war.

It burns and bubbles there, wrathful, terrible and necessary, daring to break the chains of apathetic thinking.

It is the combustive element that lights a spark amongst the gunpowder, until all the rotten foundations are burning, breaking under their outdated weight, and with a snap of reckoning, change is ushered in: the whole prison comes tumbling down.

Beyond the Morrigan's anger there is only ashes; remnants of what once was that did not serve and so met its end.

Here she extends a soot-stained hand inviting you to mark your face ready for battle, to grit your teeth through the thin veneer of the extinct that lines them, to cry out for justice and change, to howl and gnash in defiance.

We live in a world where it is fashionable to be well-liked, beautiful in your softness, appeasing and compliant.

Simply smile, and carry on. Don't make waves. Speak softly and flash your flesh. Make them like you.

But the Morrigan was never one for platitudes.

She is the overstretched jaw screaming for bloody justice, mouth tearing at the cheeks beyond the level of comfort, her teeth bared wide, sharp, and menacing.

Muscular and limber, ready to crush skulls, or a phantom displaying all the discomforts of Death, like a veil stretched over a rotten corpse.

All depending on Her mood, of course, She never was one for standing still, or fulfilling expectation. Describing her aesthetic is like grabbing at water.

Her anger is deep and dangerous, shifting the narrative of entire worlds with a countenance designed for dread... your comfort level is not required.

You grow in pain.

Morrigan trucks in blood, and pain, and death, and prophecy.

You cannot live in anger, not always, because you become senseless and blind, but without it, you become a cold shell of yourself, disastrous in your neglect of self. Laying down to die, because all the fight has drained. And The Morrigan guards your death, tailor picked by Her bloody hand, knowing ahead of time where and when you will fall. It belongs to Her, and inviting otherwise incites a simmering rage.

To court such emptiness, to give up the ghost, to forget everything that should matter... is not acceptable.

And so She stands crooked on one left limb, screeching insults to get a rise, to torment you into action, any action, as long as you move.

And you will move.

Trust and believe.

When the Morrigan calls to us, it will be in the hardest times of our lives, when we are wracked with pain, fear, guilt, or languish into despondency or apathy.

It takes courage to answer Her, and stay by her side, as She forges you anew from the fires of your hurt, your anguish… and so I honour all of those within these pages for their bravery, their honesty, and their integrity in speaking of their experiences.

And to Jess, a glorious warrior and dear friend.

Hail to the Morrigan
Mother to my Glory
Mother of my story
The bloody
And
The Gory
Speak all who died before me
‘Memento Mori’

Hail to the Morrigan

Preface to our upcoming anthology, Warrior Queen: Answering the Call of The Morrigan.


Joey Morris is a Celtic Creatrix and UK-based daughter of The Morrigan. She is an author, creatrix CEO of Starry Eyed Supplies, and co-owner of the What the Flux podcast.

“To become a tempered blade of The Morrigan, one must be baptized in blood and fire. These struggles within my lifetime have led me to become a voice for the voiceless, to reach out to the broken, and to poke the shadows in others so that they might begin to heal.
.
Such a path is dangerous. But so are we. This is the birth of a wild witch who sees with their 'other eyes' and treads the path of edges, sharp and unusual, but filled with adventure, magick of the liminal and the in-between spaces.” – Joey Morris

Within the spiritual landscape, her soul mission is to deepen the understanding of our interconnectedness by both honouring the sacred and exploring the masks of the self through channelling relationships to the Divine through written work, poetry, videos,