The Tangled Hedge: At home in the numinous wilds
An animist & spiritual naturalist Hedge Witch explores feminine spirituality.
These "almond-shaped eyes"
see two worlds.
seeing through both.
a special kind of sight.
and abstract, mystical
their connections seen,
in exquisite dance.
Fishes must swim
in water of life.
Salmon of wisdom
in sacred well,
Engine and lens.
The way is danced,
and flown, and swum
in love and joy
and pain and wisdom.
each of you,
“Vesica Piscis” Lia Hunter, 2012
I was inspired to write this poem last year when I came across the Wikipedia article for Vesica Piscis. The shamanic concept, “walking between the worlds,” became, “seeing between the worlds,” when I thought of the shape as an eye, and as an opening or overlapping of two circles/lenses/worlds. The vibrational sense of parallax when the whole is apparently sundered was another resounding sense of things I took from it.
The article mentions a yonic interpretation, and the image of the cover of the Chalice Well at the foot of Glastonbury Tor, that I’m reusing here, is pointing me along a trail towards Goddess, today. The sacred wells of the Celtic lands (ancestral lands for me) are linked to the Lady of the Healing Waters, Wells, and Springs aspect of the goddess Brighid. My participation in the SageWoman blogs is a kind of pilgrimage, as to Her sacred wells.
I think that I am more well-versed in shamanism and general spirituality than in Goddess-centered spirituality. I am more of an animist and pantheist than a theist, but I am on a familiar and affectionate basis with some deities. Used to taking in the holistic, broad view – it’s kind of my cognitive style – I never did focus very much on any one deity or set of deities, much less their sex or gender, though I’ve always enjoyed learning about them. If I do refer to non-specific deity, I like to use “Goddess” just to contribute to balancing the scale in my traditionally patriarchal society (Western civilization, as well as Utah). My affinity for balance hasn’t led me to affiliate with feminine deities, but I do include them equally.
When I was first leaving the patriarchal Mormonism of my birth, in my early 20s, I took their concept of the Heavenly Mother (whom we weren’t allowed to interact with, only acknowledge the existence of) and decided to approach both God and Goddess in prayer to ask my Heavenly Parents if it was all right for me to interact with them both, in balance, and claim what seemed like my rightful contact with the Divine Feminine, and to explore that atrophied side of things that had been kept out of my reach, as a Mormon. My answer came in a peaceful meditative silence where everything felt right, and there was no dissonance to indicate that it could be a bad idea or forbidden ground. I felt a sense of “Of course. It’s only natural.” I was in my childhood back yard, under an apple tree, and I just became aware, amidst the silence and warmth, of the bees that were flying along the tops of the grass around me. I got a strong sense of the bees being a message, and since I didn’t quite understand the message, that I would understand later.
Bees are a symbol in Mormonism, of the industrious Mormon people working for their communal hive. Maybe I wondered if it had something to do with that. I hadn’t broken away from the religion just yet (that would come the next year, in 2000), but had just started exploring outside the permitted bounds. I’m pretty sure I made a connection about nature, and wholeness, in being in the center of the bees’ dance under the sun, in the orchard, sitting on the Earth. It wasn’t until much later that I read about bees being sacred to the widely-venerated Artemis of Ephesus (or Great Mother Goddess), and years later than that when I remembered my bee-answer to that prayer… the first time I prayed to the Goddess.
Upon drifting away from theism, farther down my path, I stopped praying altogether. I may be ready to reinvent this ritual in a way that fits my current understandings and relations. I might peer through vesica piscis, the center and balance between the worlds that are apparently separate, but probably actually whole, and reconnect with that side which was kept from me and my sisters (and from my brothers, too). I sense sweet honey (and Healing Waters) waiting for me. :)
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