“I hold the vision of creating a place of service, prayer, and veneration of the Sacred Feminine; a place where learning the ways of the wise-women is honored; a place where our daughters can go to learn how to honor their female selves and the blood mysteries of being a women-born-women; a place of nurturing; a place of discovery, sisterhood and connection with other women. I hold this vision of creating a place of research, learning, play and love for women, by women all about women, for women. This place starts with a dream and desire and then is birthed into the world as a place of being, moving,waxing, flowing and growing into a place of physical existence. As above, so below, so mote it be!” ~Aura
In the wake of the circle from Sunday, my vision of creating a permanent Goddess temple, a learning center and place of women-serving-women has never been so incredibly strong. I wake in the morning and during my meditations the vision become so intense and so vivid, I could almost swear that my vision has physically manifested into being before me; it’s almost as if I could reach out and touch the space of the temple, the altar and the walls that support it. Then I realize it is a vision, a beautiful vision of definite possibility but a vision all the same. It is a powerful vision that reminds me of my spiritual purpose. It is a vision that I intend bring into manifestation on this plane of existence. With the support of the women who share and appreciate this vision and the Sacred, this vision will come to be a reality.
In Circle of Stones by Judith Durek she poses the question:
“How might your life be different if there had been a place for you? A place for you to go…a place of women, to help you learn the ways of woman, … a place where you nurtured from an ancient flow sustaining you and steadying you as you sought to become yourself. A place of women to help you find and trust the ancient flow already there within yourself…waiting to be released…
A place of women…
How might your life be different?”
How might our lives be different if such a place like this existed? My mind has danced with this question a thousand times, from the two-step to the tango, from the cha-cha to the waltz; my mind has spun this question around and around and in the end of each dance I always arrive at the same place —different. My life would have been so incredibly and wonderfully different. The experiences I would have chosen to experience would have been different. I would have been better prepared to deal with what society had to offer me as woman, I wouldn’t have limited myself to the expectations of others and adopted the value system created by a male dominated society.
I can sit here all day and share the many ways in which I know my life would have been so very positively different but instead I will let you ask the same question to yourself and think about that…
When I close my eyes and think of the many battered and abused women, the women who are killing themselves over their body weight or cutting into their faces removing their noses, making their lips fatter or getting cheek implants I wonder for moment how their lives would have been different…
There was no place like this when I was growing up but what I do know is that it is this question that dances with my mind almost never-ending. It is this question that inspires me, that pushes me that gives me the vision to hold and to have to create ‘this place of women’ for women today, for future generations of young girls and women. Not only a temple place to come honor the Sacred Feminine but to learn about the herstory of women, The Blood Mysteries, and place special emphasis on the “Lost Arts” such as spinning, weaving, sewing etc…visual and creative arts, music, a place of Yoga, belly dance, life passage rituals, and caring for ourselves the wise woman way. In my vision I see a cultural center, learning place and temple that is open to ALL women regardless of their spiritual path but a place of women to come, remember, share with and teach other women about being a whole and complete woman; to be a place of support, to be a place of spirituality and of sisterhood. It is a wild and radical vision to have manifest in a place like Akron, Ohio and yet at the same time not an impossible one. It can happen.
Sister Spirit Sanctuary is the starting point. It is a living, breathing, moving and expanding temple that exists wherever we are together. It exists in the ether, in the imagination and in the hearts of the sisters and women who come and make ceremony and celebration with us. It exists wherever we place our altar and invoke the Sacred within. It is a place of women who wish to honor the Sacred Feminine through healing, education, ritual and sisterhood. And it is through the power and strength of Divine Sisterhood that this vision of a permanent temple place and learning center for women can really come to pass. I recognize the truth of my soul that it is my calling, the Divine will of my heart to serve the Sacred in this capacity of Priestess and spiritual mid-wife, teacher, ritualist, sister and friend. And it is with this calling comes the deep, magical and incredible vision of mine, an idea that I brought forth and birthed; and idea sourced in the depths of my own womb, that was inspired by other powerful Goddess women, and that one question.
Fantasy vs Reality
I know though that there is hard and difficult work ahead. I have no rainbow and unicorn decorated illusions about it. I am grounded, I am realize that I have my work cut out. I know that I will be “Mean Girled” many times over by women that one would think would be supportive. Again, no false expectations or illusions. I am completely aware of the antagonistic people who will come along to try to gauge me, to thwart my efforts and try to make me feel like I can not accomplish my goals. There will be road blocks and hurdles, however, I am prepared to deal with them and those I am not, well I’m aware that they can and probably will happen so in that regard I’m ready.
When I think of the other women who “Mean Girl” one another, (even in the Goddess community it happens. And it happens often.) the character “Cady Heron” (Lindsey Lohan) from the movie “Mean Girls” comes to my mind. (I blame that on being the mother of five daughter, 3 of which are teenagers, 1 who is a pre-teen) When she was facing her opponent in the “Mathlete competition” and starts dissecting her opponents looks, she has a moment of truth and begins to narrate her thoughts,
“Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you.”
One would think that by the time we reach adulthood, we’d all be well versed with this type of common sense all the way around, regardless of what circles we move in. Unfortunately, unless one is really aware of this simple reality, it seems that this kind of sensibility appears mostly in the movies. Pity that.
In any case, no matter what may happen, there can be no competition here. Competition is toxic and poisonous patriarchal game that only serves to destroy, not create or hold together anything positive. Unfortunately, there are many “Goddess Women” out there who have circles and covens that put down other women and show little support to other women who are attempting to create places of women and Goddess. Because they are led by ego, they feel the need to compete with these women. Because they aren’t secure enough in what is they are trying to accomplish they must do everything they can to pull the woman who is, down. They are playing “The Patriarchy Games”. They are the women who talk the good talk but when someone other then themselves is actually walking the good walk, they find every possible thing wrong with how they are doing it, refuse to acknowledge and recognize their efforts or the comments they do give are very condescending. I know a few of them personally very well. Some were shocked that we even had a circle of women gathering (because I never spoke about in the coven I was formerly in) and some even spoke to me for one, as though I were still a newbie and wet behind the ears, and two, as though my efforts were nothing more than big ideas that were cute and thoughtful.
“When someone speaks to you, listen to what is talking, not so much to what is being said. Chances are it’s either pride, malice or just plain old ignorance speaking. They tend to speak most often.”
I find it very sad that these same women write about, talk about and want to teach other women about empowerment, Goddess Spirituality and being a priestess and yet when it comes to actually living the very thing they supposedly stand for, they fall short because they are blinded by their own ego and refuse to see they are drowning in patriarchy.
There are those who gather only when the moon is full and/or at sabbats and become the witch and/or priestess and although these women are playing priestess once a month and/or at the sabbats and seem to think that because they do this, they are in a position to judge other women and their efforts because they want to keep women coming to their circles and no where else. My work as a witch and priestess goes well beyond once-a-month full moon, sister gatherings and on the sabbats. Magick is in my blood, it’s in my DNA, causing change and effect on a cellular level within me and without. I’m witch and priestess when I mother my daughters, when I cook for my family, give support to a friend. This is me twenty-four hours a day, eight-days a week. This is not something I do, it is something I am.
So it is with that type of priestess perspective that makes it very difficult for me to understand and wrap my mind that type of competitive and malicious workings of women against women. Yet at the same time I am painfully aware that that mindset and way of thinking and behaving comes from the insidious poisons of the patriarchy. It is a need that is ego-driven, producing a power-over, controlling and competitive attitude. It is the “There is no-room- for- anyone- else -cause-I-am-the-Queen” mentality. It’s toxic and counter-productive to all that women who are truly seeking change in the heart of women, in the heart of the world work to accomplish.
I do not presume that my way is the right way but I do know theirs is not the right way for me. So I keep women like that at a distance. I give love, honor and support them as being genuinely who they are but I shift my focus on what it is *I am trying to achieve. It’s all I can do and in truth, it’s all any one can do. I refuse to compete on any level. I refuse to play those games as it takes away the direct energy and focus I have on what it is I want to accomplish.
Recognizing My Blessings
Thankfully for me, the love and support I’ve received triples in weight compared to the negative I’ve experienced. I have received so much support from women around the globe from the sisters that I have met and formed bonds with through international organizations, covens, circles and groups. These amazing women have inspired, encourage and support my vision. These women are teachers, writers, lecturers, healers, dancers, mid-wives, nurses, clerks, secretaries, stay-at-home-mothers, herbalists, massage therapist, tattoo artists, lawyers, belly-dancers, singers etc…Some names are better known than others in the community of Goddess Women simply based on what they do but no more important than any one else. I am thankful for the blessings, love and support of these amazing women who inspire me to follow my bliss.
Other Amazing Blessings
As a spiritual mid-wife, I’ve been honored and blessed to have been privileged to witness the spiritual awakening of many women, to attend to them as they unfold and become conscious and into the awareness of their own Divinity; like a flower to the new day sun. The spiritual births I’ve attended have changed me forever. Those experiences have deepened my own understanding of my connection to the Universe. They have changed me and convinced me that time is now if ever there was a time for a place of women right here in Akron, Ohio.
Every day there are more and more women seeking me out, reaching out to me and coming to me for guidance and support. It is because of all of these women, the seekers and the future generations of women, and my own daughters that I move closer to making the vision I hold steadfast and strong in my heart a reality.
May continued growth, success, and good fortune flow towards this vision in a river of abundance.
And so it is!