Goddess

Have You Heard?

Excerpted from Thea's upcoming memoir: Returning as Clouds (artist of work above unknown)

Peachy used to read poetry to us girls in the cabin at night before bedtime from books like Leaves of Grass and Song of Myself, by Walt Whitman; The Poems of Emily Dickinson, and Psalms from the Bible. She instilled a lifelong love of poetry and her one summer of love stayed with me for a lifetime.

I turned fourteen that summer in July of ’69. Four days later men landed on the moon as all of us girls gathered lakeside for a “baby boat” ceremony. In the same year the Moody Blues released On the Threshold of a Dream. It was the beginning of my awakening.

The lake was calm and the moon was full on the night of the moon landing, its reflection glimmering on the still dark water. The timing may have been a coincidence, but as I gazed up searching for the man in the moon, like one searches for shapes in the clouds, I knew it was a historical moment and perceived that a barrier was being shattered for humanity. There would be less separating us now; less time and distance, but no less mystery.

Baby boats are magical when they are all afloat and are made from cut off milk cartons with each holding a small candle. The candle boat ceremony was inspired by a Japanese tradition of honoring the dead and was meant to illuminate a pathway for souls to find their way home. It held multiple meanings for us that night. The owners of that sacred land had lost a baby soon after she was born and so it was also an honoring of this soul. It was so beautiful to see all those lights illuminating the water. We are like that, souls that shine for a brief time and need a light by which to find our way home.

As I watched the baby boats converging at the center of the lake, gently nudged by a light breeze, a magical thing happened. My little light began to merge with all of those other little lights beneath a path of yellow moonlight. No longer feeling quite so lost or all alone I became aware that I was part of a much greater whole. Strains of the Moody Blues began to play in my head to the rhythm of the wind and gentle swaying of the boats, Have You Heard. Music, always my saving grace. I looked up in wonder and tried to imagine what the earth must look like from space. There was someone up there who loved me, and now I knew there would be a light to guide me home.

Now you know that you are real

Show your friends that you and me

Belong to the same world

Turned on to the same word

Have you heard?[1]



[1] “Have You Heard”, from Threshold of a Dream by the Moody Blues, released April 1969.

 

Hope and Resiliency: In Memory of Emmy Werner

Hope and resiliency, not trauma, defines one’s own destiny. – Emmy Werner

 

Dr. Emmy Werner was born in West Germany on May 26, 1929, the same day of the month that I felt called to write this story in her memory. She was a German immigrant like my own Grandmother on my father’s side, and in my opinion, she is one of the unsung heroines of our time. A child psychologist, Emmy was best known for her leadership of a 44-year study that began in 1955, the year I was born. The study followed all of the infants born that year on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, a place I felt compelled to visit as an adult and spiritual seeker in search of myself.

 

…life is a gift, you know, if you survive it you should really make the most of it.

-- Emmy Werner

 

The study supported the conventional wisdom that children exposed to reproductive and environmental risk factors experience more problems than children who were not exposed. I was one of those problem children, born to a girl who was barely 14 years old who had been molested by her step-father. I was then adopted out of and then back into the family, lied to about my origins and told that I had been adopted from a family who couldn’t afford to keep me, thus making me unrelated to the family who raised me, even though I was. (I know - your head is swimming!)

Legacy of Marjory Stoneman Douglas

There is always the need to carry on. – Marjory Stoneman Douglas

I had been writing about my childhood in Miami among the Seminole Indians when news came of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Synchronistically, the autobiography, Marjory Stoneman Douglas: Voice of the River, lay next to my computer, which I had been using as a reference and for inspiration. Having attended Florida schools through college, Marjory Stoneman Douglas was more than just a familiar name or historical figure. She was a force of a woman who never hid from brutal truths; a writer, poet, environmental activist, defender of social justice and crusader for women’s rights who had an enduring public life and lived to be 108 years old.

Women as Warriors, Mothers & Shamans

Anthropology can be a pretty heady subject, but fortunately I was introduced to the British social anthropologist, Sheila Kitzinger, and her work as a childbirth activist and author at the beginning of the natural childbirth movement. She had a way of bringing this subject to life and was fabulously witty, progressive and fiercely independent. We met in 1979 when Sheila was promoting her new book, Women as Mothers: How They See Themselves in Different Cultures. My son was a nursing baby on my lap when I first heard her speak. Of the more than 20 books she wrote about childbirth, pregnancy and parenting until she passed in 2015, this one stood out to me as the most culturally significant. Women birth the world and how we see ouselves and are supported in the process directly affects how empowered we feel as mothers to nurture human potential, thus insuring our collective future.

Fast forward 30 years. A little less head shy of the heady subject of anthropology I discover the book, The Woman in the Shaman’s Body: Reclaiming the Feminine in Religion and Medicine. This book reveals the long-hidden roots of shamanism, the world’s oldest tradition. It was not only humankind’s first spiritual and healing practice, it was originally the domain of women.

A Gathering of Priestesses

Gloria Taylor Brown interviews Thea on her Goddess Alive Radio Show on Priestessing the Planet. We cover a lot of ground and it was a great interview.  Gloria Taylor Brown is the Producer and Interviewer for Gathering of Priestesses. She has always been a Wild Woman and a Priestess of the Goddess. Her travels have taken her to many wild places, from Alaska to Egypt. She is the author of numerous books.

Arise Warrior Women

The Warrior Goddess archetype is emerging strong and for good reason. We are starting a new Venus Cycle in the Aries archetype of the Warrior Woman. Learn more with Cayelin Castell, co-founder and a lead teacher and facilitator of the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School. She is a leading expert in the field of Shamanic Astrology and celestial timings. She is also the co-founder of Venus Alchemy co-creating with Tami Brunk a profound experience of the powerful Venus Journey, honoring, celebrating and working ceremonially with the Venus cycle as it relates to the story of Inanna. This was the result of more than 20 years of working with the Venus Cycle personally and with clients. Check out this amazing YouTube overview on Venus in Aries: Arise Warrior Women.

The Fierce Feminine is about protecting. She calls to awareness the systems of inequity that keep us enslaved, saying "no" to what doesn't work, and "yes" to what does work. When she has a cause or a purpose she is 100% all in and committed. She is all about taking action and is fiery and fierce. A lot of women are stepping out onto the world stage and into their power to restore the cosmic balance. When the Warrior Goddess archetype is healthy her concern is for the greatest good of all people. She is a Divine Feminine Leader who works with others to create the greatest good for the most people over the longest run.

Damage Control

Warrior Goddess

photo by Marion Z. SkydancerA Warrior Goddess is a woman who challenges her emotionally wounded belief system that is based on projections, assumptions and false fears (fears of being judged, not good enough, and ungrounded fears), which create unnecessary suffering and unhappiness. It is an internal battle between heart and mind that takes patience, practice, persistence, courage and commitment in order to transform the war-torn emotional battlefield into a landscape that supports and integrates Heart-Mind. The challenge requires sobriety, awareness and clarity that personal freedom is attainable beyond the struggle.

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