The powers most capable of halting the escalation of hatred and chaos in our world today are not physical or political. They are psychological and spiritual. They are activated in individuals whose minds are committed to seeking justice for all, whose hearts are filled with caring and compassion, and whose behavior is directed toward connecting and healing.
When everything we say and do originates from that core of love, it spreads through Indra’s diamond net and quickens the sacred spark that lives in every soul. Each of us can make this contribution to healing the separations within and between the peoples of the world.
Throughout history mothers and grandmothers have dedicated most of their energy, and often their lives, to nurturing and preserving life. Of course, many fathers and grandfathers have done the same. But women’s contributions have been educationally, financially, politically and spiritually restricted, vastly underrated, and largely taken for granted except for occasional lip service.
It doesn’t have to be this way. In a world splitting apart to birth a more evolved consciousness, the most important work we can do is to consciously respect and courageously share the blessings we’ve received from the other side of the Divide. To that end, and because Mother’s Day is celebrated this month, I offer these questions for reflection:
How have my female ancestors enriched and improved my life?
Am I as nurturing toward others as the benevolent women in my life were and are to me?
How can I use my unique skills in original and authentic ways that will justify their belief in me and benefit all beings?
One of my responses to these questions is this song to the elder women who’ve made a difference in my life. I dedicate it to crones everywhere.
Reblogged this on lampmagician.
Many thanks, lamp magician.
Dear Jeanie, This is such a beautiful hymn to Her, the Great Goddess whose archetype lives within all. I absolutely love your wonderful song, and doff my cap to you dear poetess! For your openhearted words honour the deep richness of human warmth, love, sensitivity, generosity and acceptance offered by many women worldwide. I agree, their patient, nurturing and most sensitive of ways being a very different set of powers indeed. I recently read in Barbara G. Walker’s incredible book, ‘The Crone’ ‘that many men refer to this, our feminine intelligence as ‘intuition’, and not by its real name, ‘intelligence.’ I love that! A book I would highly recommend to all! Love and blessings, Deborah.
Thank you, Deborah. I like your phrase, “a very different set of powers.” Yes, equal in every way. Simply different from the prevailing masculine interpretation of power. Another “yes” to Walker’s book and her recognition of intuition as a very real and powerful form of intelligence which, again, is simply different and complementary to the prevailing preference for “masculine” linear logic and reason.
Did you ever read Irene de Castillejo’s wonderful book, Knowing Woman (1973)? She wrote about “diffuse awareness,” as being the feminine complement to masculine “focused consciousness?” When I read that way back in the late 80’s I felt a huge relief, as if a burden of self-criticism for my “aberrant” thoughts had been lifted at last. Until then, I felt the need to hide certain insights because they were noticeably different and occasionally attracted “negative” attention.
I’d also like to recommend one more book here, i.e. the one pictured above: Joyce Tenneson’s Wise Women. It’s filled with ravishingly beautiful photographs of women in their “cronehood,” proving once and for all (as far as I’m concerned) that there’s nothing inherently unattractive about gray hair or wrinkles! Elephants are gray and wrinkled. Some of the most beautiful trees and stones I’ve ever seen are gray and wrinkled. So what’s the problem here? Has collective culture completely lost our capacity to see beauty in every color and form? 🙂
Love and blessings,
Thank you so much Jeanie for the book recommendations, I’ll check them both out for sure. Love the image you’ve selected for this article! Just visited Joyce’s website, what beautiful and inspirational work.
Such a beautiful tribute and a hailing to women Jeanie thank you! As I read it I was reminded of my mother who was a trail blazer in her teaching of yoga when it was still regarded as way too odd or esoteric. And, I’m reminded of trees who withstand all that mother nature throws at her and yet can bend and be flexible, and from that tiny seed grows tall, fierce and proud, offering shade and shadows, is witness to much, her roots growing deep into the Earth … like women who hear – and answer – the call.
And thank you, Susan. Your mother certainly was an intrepid trail blazer in her time. So was mine. The first woman in her town and family to go away to a nursing college, she inspired two of my cousins and my niece to do the same, modeling strong, confident, intelligent, determined and self-sufficient femininity for them and me. In short, unlike most women of her time and place, she had paying work she passionately loved and sovereignty over her own life. Essentially she was like your beautiful tree metaphor: an example of proud, rooted, fierce yet flexible, independent yet nurturing femininity. We were the lucky ones to have mothers like that, weren’t we? May we carry on that example to men and women of the future. Jeanie
Wow! That was a bolt from the blue. A veritable Greek Chorus of prayer. Beautifully constructed. And with such heartfelt warmth and desire.
Gobsmacked! I love this.
And I love your warm and generous-spirited response to it. Thank you sincerely, Brian. I’m honored.
Here’s to the wise women and crones. Thank you for bringing them alive.
The first wise woman in my life was my father’s mother. I loved singing as she played the piano, eating peas and watermelons from her garden, helping her tie her corset, and smelling her baking bread and pies. I opened the hen house door just after dawn, inhaled the acrid smell of feathers and urine, and felt around in the warm nests (sometimes with a bird still sitting on it) to find white eggs and place them in grandma’s basket. A treasure hunt before breakfast.
My strongest adult crone figure was Marion Woodman who taught me so much about feminine spirituality and mythology. Marion also taught me how to be with illness and death–a skill that has been all too useful the last nine years.
Thanks for sharing your wise women stories, Elaine. I always admired and wanted to emulate my mother’s understated and unaffected caring for others, sense of responsibility, and ethical outlook on life. She was a quiet, unassuming woman who never sought or wanted attention, but people were instinctively drawn to her calm and thoughtful ways. To me, the way she lived her life felt like wisdom and it still does. I hope she knew how much I loved and admired her. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, wherever you are. You were the best mother I could ever have had.
I love the urgency and power and caring in this poem/song/hymn/chant. As a male I can only concur with what you say. Dear god please give the world to women (who have not been co-opted by the patriarchal construct) el pronto. I would also be happy if trees were queens of the new world.
You’ve got me chuckling. I love your idea of trees being queens of the new world!