Third Wave Witch: Feminist Spirituality, Spiritual Feminism

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Weekly Goddess Inspiration: Erzulie

As I often do in hard times, I turned to my oracle decks in search of some insight and some comfort after the horrific events in Santa Barbara this week. I expected a Goddess of Justice, like Athena, or a Goddess of Healing, like Sulis, to appear. So imagine my surprise when Erzulie, Vodou Lwa of Love and Luxury (among much else) made herself known to me.

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Erzulie, by Kris Waldherr

"Use luxury to soften your heart"

What on earth, I asked myself, could luxury have to do with the work I am facing right now -- in educating people about gender violence, in serving as a source and a resource to people trying to make sense of tragedy, in speaking out against misogyny and violation, in fighting against the tide of denial that seemed to sweep in like a summer storm in the hours following the shootings? What does luxury have to do with creating  a a more just world?

And then it occurred to me that perhaps Erzulie -- who is sometimes called Ezili or Ezilie in Vodou and who has much in common with the Yoruba Orisha Oshun -- was telling me to take the time to be kind to myself this week. To remind me to engage in self-care -- that self-care is, in the words of Audre Lorde, a radical act. Erzulie, with her beautifully coiffed hair, her gorgeous robes, and her love for perfume, cosmetics, and mirrors -- she is here to remind me that caring for myself is part of my calling, that caring for myself is part of caring for the Goddess and Her community.

Some questions I'll ponder during my time wit her this week...

What does it mean to take care of myself?

Am I resistant to the idea of self-care? Why might this be so?

How can I take care of and nurture myself this week?

What does "luxury" mean to me?

What small luxuries can I offer myself this week?

How does self-care help me accomplish my goals?

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Susan Harper is an eclectic solitary Feminist Witch from Irving, Texas. She is a professor of Anthropology, Sociology, and Women's Studies, with a focus on gender, religion, and sexuality. She is also an activist, community educator, and writer. When she's not making magick or fomenting social change, Susan is the head soapmaker, herbalist, and aromatherapist for Dreaming Priestess Creations. She shares her life with her partner, Stephanie, five cats, and two guinea pigs.

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