The Orphic Hymn to Nature brings to light the age-old Mother Goddess of many names, the supreme Creatress, “dancing with whirling noiseless feet” her eternal dance of life and growth. It’s hard to find a more telling description of the Divine Feminine’s immense powers in all of the Hellenic literature!
I first began to utilize 'Priestessing' as a verb during my second week postpartum.
During that time I texted my childhood friend, Melanie, from the couch that I was unable to leave. Being stuck on the couch was a surprising situation for me to be in, for while I had planned on doing a 40 day sit in with my newborn Maiden, I hadn't planned on my carefully planned for home water birth becoming a C-section, nor for the recovery time that it would entail. Least of all was I planning on getting an infected cyst inside of my inner thigh just as I began to get the strength to be up and about for extended periods of time on my own.
I had envisioned the sit in being peaceful (which for the most part it was) and myself floating around on a cloud, wearing my baby, breastfeeding and napping, and, while I did nap and breastfed with her consistently I was definitely not floating nor was I wearing her. My stomach incision was too painful and at the moment that I was texting Melanie I was sitting on gauze pads sans pants or underwear oozing pus and blood onto the pad as my baby slept nestled in my arm. I was in shock from an operation that I wasn't expecting, new Motherhood hormones and that darn infected cyst. To top it all off, I was only 8 days into my 40 day sit~in I was starting to feel stir crazy.
A few weeks ago I was the co-host on a local radio show.Now, keep in mind that this program is on a local college station and the college is a private, Free Methodist, liberal arts school.Therefore, the managers of the radio station as well as a majority of the audience come from a fairly traditional, fundamental Christian mindset. When I co-host this show, I keep in mind the audience and try to speak their language without compromising who I am. The host of the program had decided to push boundaries and have a metaphysical themed show.He fancies himself a rebel but in reality is not.
Anyway, the main guest that evening was a woman who has written a couple of books about her channeled messages from Princess Diana and John Lennon.Granted, I am almost always initially skeptical of such things.I have been around long enough to know that it is possible that a given person would get messages from the other side of the veil.On the other hand, why is it so many people seem to get messages from a select few celebrities?Nevertheless, I proceeded to interview and ask her questions about the things she was saying in her book, particularly the one with messages from Princess Diana.The guest wanted to just read pages from her book, which was pretty boring radio.FINALLY, she took a breath and I was able to ask her about something she had just said.
Since opening this space a few weeks ago, I have been thinking more consciously about our journey to The Edge. I am grateful to have the space here to share how the light shines upon it for us all.
See, for much of my life I did not know what an “edge” was, or what expansive, fertile possibilities lay just beyond it. I did not know what type of path I would cut or even what tools I would need to access the raw, vulnerable parts of myself; eventually laying the groundwork upon the true self which would be born anew. I felt alone. I felt incapable of being able to come from a place of authentic expression. I had no idea what gifts I could offer this world.
Life was lived "safely" based on clean edges, organized processes, and a sense that I was doing the “right thing” with the barometer being the acknowledgement of those around me. I followed all of the "rules" and defined happiness by living up to others’ expectations. All the while there was a churning inside, an acidic buildup of knowing I was not dancing to my own rhythm. I was trying my damndest to be the “perfect” daughter, wife, mother, career woman, community serviceperson. Forget rhythm when living a life of constant white noise.
Oh, I was still in there, present with small pieces of it, definitely not all of it, a walking-dead from what I can now ascertain. I was superficially happy, not deeply satisfied. I was seeking a “something” to fill my hollow and was incredibly imbalanced internally. The external world was starting to show the stress of not being able to keep the charade going much longer.
The first of many lurches showing me a brighter reality hit me the day I found out my daughter had chosen me to carry her into this world. I did start to wake up that day, but it would be a long time before I had the courage to act. The next few years were spent still trying to play in the white noise, yet the core had started to break down. I was ready to exit stage left. I was ready to be done with all of the bullshit and move on.
Yet I had a child to raise. Her birth was my rebirth. She opened me up in profound ways and served as my grounding wire that first number of years as I learned how to stand again. I still felt alone, untrustworthy, unqualified, yet there was a spark which had been lit from within and She reminded me of that every single day.
The question remained though: how was I supposed to raise a child if I didn’t even know how to raise myself from the dead? The edge was slippery at times, but I learned to listen to the internal voice, to trust the compass. That journey began more than 12 years ago and every step has been a true blessing. Life continues to improve, become more joyful, more fulfilling, more honestly my own to claim in this lifetime.
See, The Edge is the familiar unknown. It is an invitation to remember who we are. It is about discovering our internal truths and then manifesting them into brilliant existence! My own familiar unknowns have shown me how deeply nourishing and joyful life can be! My edge has shown me I am here to love, nourish and support others from an incredibly deep space. BUT! If I am not loving, nourishing, and supporting myself, then what do I have left to give? The equation is simple, as is the life I am living. And I envision it to become easier and much simpler as time goes on.
The truth has been deeply revealing. It has led to unexpected and miraculous gifts along the way in the form of connecting and learning from others who open their hearts to their edge of familiar unknowns. The following poem was written and performed with one of those beautiful souls, my dear friend John DeLozier. You may also watch a video of the performance here. My cup truly runneth over.
The EdgeJohn DeLozier & Jennifer MillsSummer Rhythm Renewal, August 2012The Within becomes limitless when I am with you.A roiling, boiling potential.Through the liquidous center, the tremors of vibration unsettlethe sediment existence has produced.An uncontrollable force which can no longer be held within.Truly eyes know nothing yet reveal everything.The pulsing, rhythmic dance begins.The roiling emotions charged: a supernova state, heartfelt and open!The sacred seal is broken between the illusion of opposing forces.Suddenly, desolate and lightless as a black hole; nothingness; my mind cannot conceive.I have gone to my Edge;my toes on the precipice.Are you complete?Resistant: I hesitate, afraid of the unknown.My truth unspoken, constricted by the perpetual state of Doubt.Break yourself free from that constraint my friend!We are bigger than that!Join me in this leap of faith!Take my hand.So, the darkness was a shadow, dissipated by our light!Connected now are we.This bright-light confusion of the senses fades.The breath of light returns in the Light of Love.
To move, live and follow the cycles and rhythms of the Spiral Path, the path of the Divine Feminine, is one of the most familiar and eased ways of being in this world. This is the natural essence of humanity and is how we journeyed through life prior to the rise of the Patriarchy.
Since the rise of the Patriarchy, society has been overtaken by a linear way of being. We have been taught to have concise goals, to walk forward despite obstacles, to never give up, to get out there and to get it done. Time to be, to grieve, play, and rest has become regimented and wildly undervalued.
We spent part of the afternoon at Mother Grove rearranging the entry room--a tiny space I call the "lounge." We moved the coffee-and-tea tables onto another wall and covered them in some plain black fabric. Looks sleek and modern.
Since there were several of us playing interior designer, a couple of us started stripping the main altar and replacing tealights on the other three. The Ancestors had been exiled in their niche, covered with a black lace veil with no candles or wine or treats and it was also time to open up their area and fill their goblet and out a little something sweet on their plate.