None of us come with instruction manuals, and every single one of us is a unique individual. The fact that humans can be just one single species yet never produce two exactly alike is still amazing to me. The latest challenge from the Natural Medicine tribe (find the post here: https://peakd.com/hive-120078/@naturalmedicine/writing-challenge-plus-invitation-to-a-moon-circle ) asks those of us who are connected with the Sacred Feminine to share some of the ripe fruits we have gathered along our journey. With gratitude I accept this challenge because I know to contemplate on the Sacred Feminine in my life will reveal even more about myself to me ~ I am bearing new fruits through my actions to share fruits with you, dear reader!
Once upon a time…
That starts many a good story, right?
Once upon a time I was a young girl, frolicking in the woods and water along the rural coastline of South Carolina. I spent so much time exploring the nature around me that I rarely took time for “girly” adventures. Dolls were often ‘destroyed’ through bold haircuts, marker tattoos, and mud puddle parties. The word “tomboy” easily applied. Each year my grandmother would get me a special dress for Easter, or Christmas, or other “formal” holidays. I would uncomfortably wear whatever pretty she had for me and remember my manners while using the family china and silver upon the mahogany table and hand-embroidery covered chairs. As soon as I could, I would race to get out of the “fancy” clothes and back to something bold, fearless, dirty and most importantly, outside.
As I got older I realized I wasn’t much like a girl at all, at least based on the American version of what a “young lady” should be like. Anne of Green Gables suited me much better than the Brontë sisters! Before I knew it, puberty became a real and awkward part of life, and it quickly introduced me to the more obvious ways that I was definitely a girl ~ boys were dreamy! Of course, since most of my interests were more “boy” like, most of my friends were already boys, who thought of me as “one of the guys”. Did I mention AWKWARD?!!
The world of young adulthood found me running as fast as I could away from my hometown, and towards a new and exciting life traveling the continental US. Between rainbow gatherings (camping in one spot for weeks or a month at a time, amazing!!) a wide variety of concerts and festivals (live music is always a treasure!), and an entire counter culture that traveled constantly (Sissy Hankshaw didn’t hitch half as far or catch half as many rides as me across this land!), I had found my platform for beginning the task of really getting to know myself and the natural world of the contintental US. Of course it would take well over another decade before I became completely comfortable with who I was…
Makeup, fancy clothes, shaving, hair dying ~ these are things that I may have dabbled in under 20 years of age, but in general they never caught my interest. This would prove later to be a pivotal point in my journey to embracing Sacred Feminine in the United States. All of these things were widely accepted to be required for beauty, yet the young punk lady with a mohawk and hairy legs (me) screamed at this establishment illusion! I was divided for a long time in myself on these points, because the Divine in me knew better, but the human in me was more fragile than I would admit.
At 19 I shaved my head completely. I spent a long time looking in the mirror after that, a whole day in front of a full length mirror (naked), just gazing into my own eyes. I spoke not one word during this intense meditation, but it forever changed me. I accepted myself, and began the process to overcome the pressures of society for what beauty is in a woman. That day, was truly a day of Sacred Feminine, one which would be remembered and treasured for nearly two decades before I reached another milestone in my journey that I would consider as pivotal.
In my mid-thirties I went through my second divorce. At that point I had been seeing myself as a mother, and a wife, for quite a few years. I had survived one bad marriage, and thought my second marriage was a fairy tale in the beginning. When it ended and the illusion came crashing down fully, I was forced once again to look at myself and find a way to come back to me. There were two close women friends who were instrumental in that portion of my journey.
The first was a dear friend I have known since was barely 18. Over the years I had such immense love and respect for her, that I had placed her on a pedestal. She embodied everything I thought that the Sacred Feminine could be in human form. I had a great desire to be like her, and of course over the years many of my words and deeds would be chosen based on this! I am truly grateful I picked such a spiritually awakened and wonderful human to idolize, I can imagine it might not have turned out so well if I had picked someone who wasn’t so very in touch with her own Sacred Feminine Journey. We were camping and working at a spiritual gathering together one summer, and we were sharing a good talk in her tent. Somehow in that moment, she was able to help me see that I was equal with her even as she stood tall on the pedestal I had crafted in my mind. She shared her views of me in a way that I heard her heartsong, I heard her truth, and I was able to see myself through her eyes. My deity incarnate saw me as an equal! I am worthy! I am beauty! I am Divine!
The second lesson I received from Sacred Feminine in this time period was from a beautiful woman I see as my elder, and my sister, and my friend. We had both been healing from the loss of a partner, and she gave me some advice that will make the difference in any and every situation concerning the heart and the Sacred Feminine ~ Grace. In times of great emotional upheaval, remember that what you are experiencing is like paying the tax on an inheritance you have not yet received. How much tax you pay, and how accepting you are of having to pay that tax, will greatly affect what the inheritance you receive will be.
I didn’t burn my hubby’s girlfriend’s house to the ground when she kicked her husband out and moved mine in. I didn’t stab her or slash his tires or go after alimony, or put him in cement shoes! I didn’t hold on to the anger, the desire to hurt in retaliation, the ugliness of being bitter. I chose to be better. I moved away from where I was living in the mountains of my dreams back to the city in order to keep from having drama in our community. I applied the rule of being quiet when I didn’t have something nice to say. I avoided talking poorly about my ex in front of our children ~ to the point that now, 7 years later, my children don’t really know why I don’t like their dads girlfriend, because they don’t remember what happened. Now, I do have my limits ~ she was my friend too, under the illusion of being a sacred feminine being ~ and to this day I do not speak to her. I continue to be quiet rather than speak with her dishonestly, or disrespectfully. I allowed that part of my life to sink into the past, and embraced what the future had to hold for me. Which was ultimately a treasure trove of gifts including my partner Rabbit (who has a life goal to make me realize fairy tales ARE real) and of course Fantastica, my paradise on earth/home in the mountains! (but that story is for another day...)
Let’s touch on Sacred Feminine concerning other women. So far my rambling has touched on the journey with myself in the Divine. Sacred Feminine also involves our interaction with other women. I have experienced both the Divine and the Unholy through my words and deeds, and it would be a disservice to you, dear reader, to leave out this part of the journey!
I was taught that Otter represents Sacred Feminine concerning sisterhood. As women in the Divine, it is our responsibility to lift each other up, to look out for each other, to celebrate each other, to hold each other, to dance and play carefree with each other. Yet the world we live in supports just the opposite of this! Whether competing for a potential lover’s attention, putting other’s beauty down to pretend it lifts our own, or being deceitful in our communications with one another ~ each of these attacks the Sacred Feminine inside of us. To truly feel SACRED in our FEMININE, we must avoid these pitfalls. One of the most common pitfalls is participating in the breaking of a commitment between a couple. I have been unfaithful to a partner, I have had someone’s partner be unfaithful with me, and I have had partners be unfaithful to me. I have been each of these, and I desire to never be any of these ever again! Breaking that cycle was monumental in my journey to Sacred Feminine!
The next concept would be abolishing putting down of other women in ourselves. “She looks trashy” or “she looks butch” or “I can’t believe she’s wearing that” are all common examples of how the Sacred Feminine is slashed inside of ourselves in the attempt to destroy it in others. We are all on our own path of beauty, and each of us has a different eye for what makes us feel beautiful. The intent must be just to feel beautiful, but the response should also come from that place. When we dress or act to make others think we are beautiful, then we have lost our way. For those of you with daughters who like to play dress up, find that little girl inside the next time you get dressed up! Wear exactly what makes you feel beautiful!
A final point on my meandering path through the Sacred Feminine and I will release you, dear reader, to once again continue on your own sacred ground. Remember exactly that : we are each on our own journey. With nearly 8 billion people on the planet at once, it’s hard to remember that none of us have the same path, but we don’t! While we can use our own experiences to gauge where another’s journey might be heading, we only have control or a right to control our own journey. Offer your experience, offer your insight, offer your love, offer your support for healthy choices ~ but remember to not take it personal if your offer is rejected. Just as you must decide for yourself, so much each of us.
Thanks for reading! I hope this little glimpse into my Sacred Feminine journey helps you along your own Sacred Feminine. Each of us has a path of beauty laid out before us, full of sweet fruits and bitter poisons, such as I have found. We each are capable of harvesting the fruits and passing by the poisons! Sacred Feminine is about intuition, and introspection, and nurturing. Be honest, be kind, be respectful to all life ~ including yourself ~ and your Sacred Feminine Self will continue on Her own Path of Beauty.
(P.S. Sissy Hankshaw is the main character in Even Cowgirls get the Blues by Tom Robbins.)