It's tax season which is every bit as wretched as you expect it to be. I'm on my feet for over nine hours a day in the goddamn copy room which is both a safe haven and a prison, depending on the day. My book doesn't come out until August which feels even farther away the closer we get to it somehow, probably because I could have had a baby and a half in the time I'm sitting on my hands waiting for it to come out. I mean, I'm trying to get launch events together for when it comes out but I'm like Ali Sheedy in The Breakfast Club dumping her giant purse out all over the table and no one wants to sit by me. No. One.
I very nearly had, like, the awesomest event ever put together but we had irreconcilable differences over how the bar tab would be handled.
I've been on a bit of a feminist thealogy/feminist spirituality history tour of late. It feels like the moment is ripe for a whole new wave of Goddess Spirituality to be born, with the resurgence in interest in Witchcraft born of the #Resistance, plus the newly visible nature of the feminist movement due to the Women's March. The work of W.I.T.C.H. in Portland and Chicago has also been a reminder of the rich intertwining of feminist politics and witchcraft that gave rise to the Goddess Spirituality I practice . Even though I part ways with many of the movement's founders on issues of trans inclusion, biological essentialism, cultural appropriation, and more, at my core Goddess Spirituality and Witchcraft are what shapes my life and work and gives them meaning.
Cynthia Eller in Living in the Lap of the Goddess notes that, “some spiritual feminists say that having a divine mother is a way of compensating for the frailties of human mothers, giving women a more perfect mother…” This is not actually true for me; I’m fortunate enough to have an excellent human mother. I am more liable to see myself as a mother reflected in the empowering imagery of the Goddess as mother than I am to feel “mothered” by Her—I feel like she affirms my worth and value in my own maternal role. She gives me strength and inspiration to be a better mother to my children. In this way, I then agree with the hope of spiritual feminists that, “this great mother goddess will have a transformative effect upon the social valuation of motherhood.” (Eller, p. 143)
When I was a young woman in my early 20s, newly on a Pagan path, someone -- I no longer remember who -- put in my hands a copy of WomanSpirit Rising, edited by Carol P. Christ and Judith Plaskow. I had discovered Goddess-centered Craft a year or so before, when I attended a Spring Equinox celebration and was slightly confused (and then elated) when no male Godhead was invoked. The idea of an explicitly feminist, overtly political, Goddess-centered spirituality excited me -- a young activist who was really coming into her own political consciousness and who had begun to heal the deep wounds left by a childhood spent in the Church of Christ, with its punishing Father God.
When Sekhmet, The Mighty One, roared into my cards this week, I didn't even know what to say. Sekhmet encourages to get in touch with our anger and our rage and use it to transform our lives and our situations. As someone who wrestles with depression -- "anger turned inward," as the saying goes -- giving free range to my anger and rage is sometimes frightening. And given that American society's response to a woman with strong emotions and opinions, a woman who shows anger, is typically to dismiss her as irrational and thus not worth listening to, letting my inner Sekhmet out is something I've been strongly socialized to avoid.
But she is here to visit, in all her lion-headed majesty....