An Ireland Shamanic Priestess Process: Brighid and St. Brigid

Posted on Friday 28 August 2015

Ireland, Part 2: Brighid and St. Brigid

from http://introverthitsthestreets.blogspot.com/

“A river of tears is one of the strongest evidences of a ‘crash and burn’ initiation into the Scar Clan.”–Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Priestess Glenys of the glacial river valleys of the Pacific Northwest greets you. Glenys is my new name, by the way. It’s Welsh and means from the glen. A glen is a narrow valley, sometimes a river valley. Baby name sites insist that Glenys also means fair, clean, and holy, but I just discovered that this morning when I woke up at 2:00 AM, still on
Ireland time, and can’t be held responsible for it. Keep all this under your hat for now, until I get used to it.
I am also one of the Daughters of Danu, the name my fellow initiates and I gave our circle, but if tears shed are proof of membership, I might also claim a place in Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Scar Clan.
I’ve been through something in the last year or two that recently culminated in a dismantling or even a disintegration. I’ve been sharing my efforts to renew myself in this blog. This time they’ve led me pretty far from what I know, into things I can’
go to http://introverthitsthestreets.blogspot.com/ for the rest of the blog!

Women Awakening through the Priestess Archetype by Anyaa

Posted on Saturday 1 November 2014

YURT Altar

Initiatory ceremonies are the domain of all religions and spiritual paths. The path of the female mystic, or priestess, can be seen in its own light in these times of great turmoil and change at the “Turning of the Ages.” It is unique not only because it is a feminine path, but because it has been absent from our psyches for thousands of years. We have witnessed the shadow side of the Divine Masculine, the Patriarchy, gain ascendancy and foster many forms of oppression, including the suppression of women’s rights, Holy Inquisitions, and the negation of feminine mysticism. Over millennia we’ve had priests but no priestesses; a male God, but no Goddesses. It has been out of balance, but things are changing.
One of the features of Patriarchy has been an emphasis on “solar initiations” or those that focus on transcending the body to join with Spirit. Fire-walking, warrior sweat-lodges, the Sun Dance, mental meditations, some martial arts, and many forms of vision quests use the mind and endurance to reach out of the body and thereby elevate consciousness. By contrast, the Divine Feminine employs “lunar initiations,” or those that call Spirit into the body, a welcome alternative to jettisoning out into the universe to make a connection! The feminine loves the sparkle of life, the senses, getting down into body, the pleasures and pains, joys and tears of earth.
Another feature of Patriarchy is our loss of soul connection to our bodies. The result is that most of us center ourselves from our neck up, denying the life-force energy that enlivens us and makes life worth living. We identify heavily with our thinking and action based on thought alone. But as women reclaim their Divine Feminine natures, the true feeling function of femininity gets to play and be re-membered. Shakti dances into ecstatic bliss. Aphrodite revels in sacred sexual pleasure. Pele fully runs the life-force energy of fiery passion. Inanna consciously surrenders to the death-rebirth mysteries. Baubo laughs her bawdy belly laugh. Kuan Yin cries her tears of compassion for all living things, while Gaia pours forth her infinite abundance. Priestess consciousness allows the many faces of the Goddess to be soulfully expressed, as the human woman learns to step into her spiritual power.
After a long suppression, the Divine Feminine and the priestess archetype are returning to cultural consciousness and acceptance. Women walk differently on a spiritual path when they are fully encouraged to express their soulful nature. They are wild, willful, chaotic, earthy, sensual, sweet, empathic, merging, deeply emotional, passionate and compassionate. These natural soul qualities are the qualities of the Divine Feminine seeking to awaken the priestess within the woman. Through our wild desires and intricate passions, we find our soul stirring and our spirit calling. We stop silencing our deepest dreams and allow the voice of the Goddess to come through as our own. This awakening, can result in the full empowerment of a woman as a priestess whose temple is the everyday world. She exerts her influence in all of her roles—as daughter, mother, lover, career woman, neighbor and in every interaction she has, moment to moment. The divine feminine and the divine feminist are joined. We can embrace a movement of soul and spirit, human and divine. We can experience the sacred in our daily lives and express our life force energy in everything we do. We can include the essential factors that make the new feminine mysticism, the priestess within, grounded and practical, yet imaginative and sacred.

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The Shamanic Priestess Process is Coming to Central Florida!

Sun in the hands

WHAT IS THE SHAMANIC PRIESTESS PROCESS—AND WHY SHOULD I BE INTERESTED?
The Shamanic Priestess Process is a life-changing initiation & spiritual process for women. As the Shift of the Ages progresses, as the Feminine is called to take the stage, we… as sacred women walking a spiritual path… discover that indeed, We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For! The Divine Feminine is returning, and women are called to participate in the healing of ourselves and our planet.

We learn that the old “power over others” patriarchal model has kept us from discovering who we really are. The Shamanic Priestess Process empowers women to walk through their own fears to gain their own personal power, magnetism, and explore their passions.

Shamanic Priestess Circles become catalysts of change in the lives of every woman in Circle.. We awaken, enliven and integrate the priestess within. We find our own sacred work, and bring forth our unique gifts to serve ourselves and the world in a bigger way.

WHEN IS THE SHAMANIC PRIESTESS PROCESS COMING TO CENTRAL FLORIDA?
This month, from November 14-16 2014, we’ll do several previews around central Florida, to “gather the women.” We’ll be doing them in New Smyrna Beach, Deltona, Casselberry, and Kissimmee/Celebration.

The preview will give you a “taste” of what the Shamanic Priestess Process is like. If it resonates for you, we’ll invite you to join us for the FIRST Central Florida Shamanic Priestess Process Circle, which will begin in January and complete in July. (More details on the below and on our Facebook page.)

I hope you’ll be able to join us in November; below are the dates/times of the gatherings. Please choose one you prefer and email Melody or Roxanne, our coordination team, immediately to confirm. We have limited space and it’s first come, first in.
1. FRIDAY NOVEMBER 14, 2014 from 7 to 9:30pm in New Smyrna
2. SATURDAY NOVEMBER 15, 2014 from 11am to 1:30pm in Deltona
3. SATURDAY NOVEMBER 15, 2014 from 7 to 9:30pm in the Orlando area
4. SUNDAY NOVEMBER 16, 2014 from 1 to 3:30pm in the Kissimmee/Celebration area
YES, you may invite your friends! And YES, teens are invited to attend with their mothers!

The 2.5 hours we’ll spend together at the preview will answer your questions and allow you to feel your resonance with the Process. We’ll connect via phone or Skype with Anyaa McAndrew, our facilitator, who has been seeding the Shamanic Priestess Process around the U.S. and Canada for the past 14 years. Find more about Anyaa on this website.
The power of our gatherings won’t always be immediately felt, so we also have a Facebook page for women to post questions, ideas, insights and allow the energy to build.

WHEN WILL THE FIRST SHAMANIC PRIESTESS CIRCLE IN CENTRAL FLORIDA BEGIN?
In 2015. On Jan. 23-25, we’ll experience our Shamanic Priestess Introductory weekend retreat. You can register and attend the January retreat (which is only $260) without committing to the entire Shamanic Priestess Circle. After the January retreat, only women who are committed to the Circle will be able to attend the remaining sessions.

Our first central Florida circle will have 20 women and will run from January 2015 to July 2015, meeting every other month. In these gatherings, we’ll explore:
• The New Priestess & Women’s Mysteries
• Initiation of the Priestess Within
• Enlightening the Shadow Between Women
• Telling the Stories of Our Spiritual Journeys
• The Archetypes We Carry
• Sacred Marriage with the Inner Masculine
• Conscious Death of the Old Self
• Sacred Rebirth of the Shamanic Priestess
• Emergence & Ordination

I’M INTERESTED. WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
Go here for the flyer, and for more information about the Process go here, for audios describing the Shamanic Priestess go here and for what women who have done the Process have to say, go here. You can also read interviews here and articles here!

Missing in Action for 5,000 years, Great Mother Found Alive by ALisa Starkweather

Posted on Wednesday 19 March 2014

reprinted from: http://theinterfaithobserver.org/process/CreateJournalEntryComment?moduleId=11005111&entryId=34685825&finalize=true

 

Community art piece at Gaia Healing Center, Frederick, MDYeah.

Becoming Fully Conscious of Her Presence

Astonishing and it’s absolutely true. I found her in me of all places. Once you spot her she shows up everywhere, hidden in plain sight. She says that she was never gone, never, never, not for one nano-second. I look at her with my eyebrows raised and a little hurt because she was certainly no where in sight when I was growing up. I didn’t even know she existed. I didn’t know even one of her names, let alone her thousands.

In fact, I didn’t even know to look for her. And here is the real kicker. Because of that, I could not comprehend just how much I was missing her or how to recognize my own female reflection in divinity. Essentially I was Divine Mother blind. Seeing my old abandonment stories cropping up, she gives me that mischievous wild glint in her eyes and refutes the idea that she was MIA in one word – “Impossible.” We both laugh.

 

Great Mother loves to laugh. It helps her balance out her terrible awful grief. And I mean terrible, but I won’t get into that too much. She exists in everything, not just that old Earth Mother title alone. I’m talking the big, the small, the whole enchilada. Every electron, every mountain, every star, every river, every piece of anything and even what we deem as nothing, too. Scientists cannot find the beginning nor the end of her great mysteries. But more than that, she is intricately woven in every story of our lives and of our deaths, in the heartbeat of our love and aliveness and each and every heartbreaking loss, every devastation in war, every famine and every time our tears run hot with hate or of pure grace when forgiveness comes like dawn after a night you never thought would end.

 

You know her. Yes you do. She Mothered you too. This is what gives her not one story in humanity but more than can be ever counted and way more than a hundred thousand names. You see, she is complex and some of that comes from not understanding our relationship to her, because of one small problem. It comes down to a little pronoun: “she.” Sure “she” is all right for a girl, for a woman, a sister, a mother, even an animal. I’ve even heard people refer to inanimate objects like their truck or their boat as “she.”

 

Take Siri, the iphone operator, for instance, because Siri gets to be a “computer she,” with no rebuttal that she’s nonexistent. But she as in She, God? Come on now. Some people believe that alone is blasphemy, heresy, and well, her thinking a little too much of herself. Their one word response? Same word actually: “Impossible.” But they don’t have that same playful glint. More defensiveness and a wall up around that idea that is longer than the Great Wall of China.

 

It’s okay. Really. Beliefs are sacred. People get to keep beliefs, especially those handed down for a long time in one’s family traditions, as an anchor to one’s personal reality and value systems. It is our spiritual artistry – being able to bring to the canvas of our lives what we discover in our hearts as true. Spiritual beliefs are deeply rooted and often engrained. If we were talking about politics, you might agree with me that there are differences among us in how we position ourselves that don’t always make us wrong in the absolute sense. But Divine Feminine? “She” might literally be too hard to conceive of for some, though quite honestly she is more ancient than anything we can reference, and in and out of every living matter recognizable. Conceiving, conception, creation are some of her many miracles proving her existence in what births, blooms, and dies and is reborn over and over again.

 

Asherah

In one of the many versions of the Holy Bible, God is also referenced as El Shaddai, the Many Breasted One. El Shaddai is translated most often as God Almighty. Shaddai interestingly enough also means Destroyer, Fertility, Sustainer. Destroyer is some of where her fierce nature lives because, as I eluded, she is complicated and multi-faceted. In early Hebrew writings God had a wife too, Asherah (one of her annunciations), meaning “One of the Womb” or Queen of Heaven. But this Ugartic fertility goddess after thousands of years of being worshipped was taken out of the story. A huge retelling occurred in the progression of many of our world’s major religions, leaving the Goddess as an aspect of God Himself MIA. To be clear, people in many other faiths, traditions, and cultures know her intimately, and her presence is even worshipped. But for others she was erased, first in holy texts, next in our minds, but I believe never in our hearts.

 

How I eventually became fully conscious of her presence personally is unforgettable to me.

 

Shame, grief, and betrayal were powerfully moving me off an emotional cliff of depression at the age of 23, in what we often describe as a dark night of the soul. Though my artistic abilities are far from decipherable, in a moment of quiet desperation I gathered a black and red felt tip pen and a yellow highlighter and began to scribble on a blank page images that would unlock the Great Mother from the prisons of my psyche. I needed her. I needed to remember that I was good, whole, worthy, and most of all loved.

 

Yet as I was drawing I did not know that I was looking for her. Instead I drew a woman on her knees with her arms stretched above imploringly, prayerfully, beseeching grace. Above her in the upper left corner was a Magnificent Radiant Sun. The sun had a masculine stern face, and each line that I drew for him accentuated his gaze of anger, displeasure, and judgment at this pitiful woman before him.

 

What took place next was the interesting part. Behind the woman on her knees, so clearly symbolizing me, a figure of night grew in black lines all around my lost soul. As I drew each black line I wept louder with wails too long withheld. The strands became the long black hair of darkness, became a hundred hands holding me at ground level up and a feeling welled up that I was neither alone nor lost in the dark.

 

In the far upper right corner with my red pen engaged, a woman’s face began to emerge, and in contrast to the stern Father Sun God, her face was Loving Compassion, revealing my sorrow was also her sorrow, my loss her loss. She kept reaching out all around me, under me, above me and everywhere she could caress her daughter. My outer skin was sketched yellow like my Sky Father God, but incessantly I drew on the inside of me in this caricature, the black lines of Mother Night outlining my entire body from within.

 

ALisa Starkweather’s Women’s Belly and Womb Conference – Photo courtesy of Marsia Shuron Harris

Sometimes you live your whole life out seeing only what is on the outside and never discover who you really are on the inside. We hear talk of embodying the sacred feminine and what this means. In that moment I witnessed her at my back and literally woke up to the obvious. She was in me all along. This sweet recognition is better than the movie scenes when someone you thought was dead is actually alive or when the little orphan discovers after years of turmoil a loving family, or even the wild kiss of two lovers who will never be parted again. We live for these moments of reconciliation.

 

The power is in the lifting of the veil when something that has hurt us deeply is finally understood and our hearts heal in the holy, in the beauty, in the love within our Mother’s arms no longer out of reach. With her, we come home ourselves and realize that one tiny pronoun can radically alter whether we see Her or whether we don’t. In investigating this, we risk changing ourselves in how we view our own divinity, not only as women but as all the sons and daughters who emerge from the womb of life.

Anyaa McAndrew @ 10:41 am
Filed under: General Spirituality andOf Interest to Men andOf Interest to Women andThe Divine Feminine

Gloria Steinem: We Are Not Done! by Anyaa McAndrew

Posted on Monday 10 March 2014

 

Gloria Steinem spoke at Western Carolina University on Thursday, March 6.

I had the honor of attending a lecture at Western Carolina University here in my mountains of North Carolina…a remote place for sure to see Gloria Steinem speak! But, what an amazing opportunity it was. Gloria turns 80 in a few weeks. Dressed in a simple black jumpsuit that belied a tall slim figure, hair tied back in a braid,  there was little sign of alteration to Gloria’s natural beauty other than a few gray roots in her reddish hair. She was her usual straightforward self, admitting to us that although she was asked to speak about the changes she saw from the 60’s till now, she did not tend to look to the past, but lived in the future. So, getting this opportunity to compare her view from here to back there, she spoke a version of her famous quote:  “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off!” She confirmed that there were lots of things to piss us off these days, the condition of women’s rights in the U.S. and in the world on top of the list. Gloria feels we have made only incremental changes, and if we invested in women the way that we invested in bailing out banks and corporations, the return on that investment would have been all the economic stimulus we would need.  Women don’t tend to put their money in Swiss bank accounts, but to spend it for the good of their families and communities. “It is more rewarding to watch money change the world than to watch it accumulate.”

We tend to think that feminism is old-school, over, done, passe’, but the truth is that we are just getting started. As long as there is racism, discrimination, reproductive coercion and repression, class-ism, heterosexism, and patriarchy, there has to be feminism, says Gloria, because it is all just imperialism towards one group or another. The core abuse is towards women, because as long as abuse and violence towards women is tolerated, every other form of abuse will be tolerated as well. We have made little progress in the 47 years since the 60’s, because the God we worship still looks like the ruling class, and that means we are still in deep trouble. Gloria said many times in her talk that there is nothing wrong with the majority, and that most of us are aligned with women’s economic and reproductive freedom. The issue is with the 1% who still holds onto the power over. The old boy network is still in charge and has in fact taken over many states. We must stand together to shadow our state legislators, demand fair voting districting, and do our part to stay as aware, active, and attentive as we can every day. The empowerment of women is still ridiculed and it is still threatening to the 1%. We can continue to stand up and speak out. As Gloria says: “Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.”

And, I love Gloria’s definition of feminism: “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”

Enjoy this very entertaining and moving TED talk by Isabel Allende from 2007: It all still rings true-true today in this time where our greatest hope is that the patriarchy will have a good death…..soon, and that women can finally come out of the shadows and into the sun of a new day on this precious and abused (feminine) planet.

March is Women’s History Month http://womenshistorymonth.gov/

http://blog.ted.com/2008/01/03/isabel_allende/  

 

 

 

 

 

Indigenous women of the world warn that they will give their lives to defend their lands

Posted on Tuesday 26 November 2013

 

mujeres indígenas

They demand that the States recognize the authority and competency of their communities in the handling of their lands, territories, and resources.

 

They pledge to be part of the solution to the food crisis that will consequently result in climate change.

 

Unanimously, the indigenous women of the world declared that if States did not restore the control that the women had over their land, territories, and resources, it would not only put the communities’ lives in danger, but all of humanity as well.Through the “Lima Declaration,” endorsed by almost 200 female leaders from Africa, the Pacific, Europe, Asia, Latin America, North America, and Russia, they declared that their role in the preservation of biodiversity and ancestral wisdom of nature is a key piece in order to challenge the impacts of climate change.“In this moment of serious crisis and impending, irreversible loss of biological diversity, indigenous women emphasize the obligation of the States to protect the territories of indigenous communities,” they demanded.The declaration, released today, was prepared in the framework of the World Conference of Indigenous Women that met in Lima, Peru, attended by indigenous women from around the globe.Resources like water, energy, and biodiversity, that contain fundamental economic and strategic value for countries, are located primarily in indigenous territories. This represents a risk for the lives of the communities, especially indigenous women.A recent study produced by CEPAL shows that in Latin American the growth of mining, forestry, and other industries has resulted in the displacement of millions of indigenous women from their ancestral territories to urban areas. Nevertheless, this does not mean a change in their life conditions. On the contrary, they already make up part of the most vulnerable populations, having been exposed to various forms of violence such as racism, exploitation of labor, and sexual trafficking.

 

“Indigenous women experience, in relation to our land, the same pain and effects caused by physical abuse and excessive exploitation,” they asserted in this declaration. Moreover, they warned that they are prepared to defend their communities’ lands, water, and resources with their lives.The leaders demanded that the states recognize the authority and competency that indigenous communities hold over their lands, territories, and resources. They demanded that all development projects that affect their lives should be made with free, prior, and informed consent of their communities.Moreover, they indicated that any policy or social program about health, education, or any that focuses on the well being of indigenous women should be carried out with their direct, full, and effective participation. “Nothing about us, without us. Everything about us, with us,” is the protest they adopt in this declaration.This document, coupled with a plan of action, will be presented in different moments and mechanisms of the United Nations systems focused on the right of women and indigenous communities. The World Conference of Indigenous Communities will be held in 2014 in New York City.At said conference, they will ask to guarantee the full and effective participation of indigenous women, above all the wise elderly and the young, and that the results of the findings prioritize the concerns of indigenous women.

http://en.mujerindigena.com/indigenous-women-of-the-world-warn-that-they-will-give-their-lives-to-defend-their-lands/