Happy Ostara/Equinox everyone! Today's the first day of spring (by some definitions) but it's also Faithful Friday and we've got a bunch of stories to share with you. Many of our stories today focus on how the modern world and religion (or the lack thereof) intersect, often in some very interesting and surprising ways.
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During this month of Light returning (Imbolc) and love igniting (Valentine's celebrations) I collaborated with a man who worships and praises the Divine Feminine expression of the one Source.The re-emergence of the Goddess has challenged everybody to question the patriarchal realm that has been dominating us for too long. With the rise of the Goddess comes a new relationship with the Divine, as well as Father God that we connect to in the Heavenly realms we have begun to become reacquainted with the Mother Goddess of the Earthly world that we are in.Although it has seemed as though it is women who predominantly worship and honour the Goddess, she is not a 'God' for women. Just as the patriarchy harms both women and men, the Goddess is an expression of Source that feeds both women and men.Once I began to know the Feminine aspects of the Creator, She became such a significant part of my life that I couldn't imagine having a long term relationship with a man that couldn't honour that side of Source. I also couldn't imagine raising children who didn't know Her face and presence. I didn't believe that I could be led to a strong, masculine man who would honour Goddess, nor one that would join me in raising Goddess conscious children. The man I was dating when I began my Priestess path would vehemently argue "why does it have to be so much about She and Her? God isn't a woman you know." I would counter, "I know, God also isn't a man, so why not use Her for a few hundred years since we've all gotten to know the Him side so well?" I could feel him bristle, he felt threatened and upset and there was nothing I could do. Shortly thereafter we parted ways.My employer at the time was only too happy to set me up on a blind date with a wealthy, successful man who was ready to settle down and have children. I was happy to go on a date, my last relationship had gotten quite tedious, and I was looking to have children in the nearish future. When I met up with this man I didn't feel the spark, but I decided to explore it. He showed interest in my spirituality, the Goddess Gatherings I attended and the Priestess training I was doing. A part of me felt vulnerable about revealing my sacred inner world to a person I had just met, but his enthusiasm made me ignore my reservations. After we parted ways I pondered how I would politely decline a future date, as I knew he wasn't for me. I also pondered how I would let my employer know that her blind date hadn't created a future marriage. I arrived at work and my boss pulled me aside."Candise, Peter (let's call him Peter) said that you seemed more into the Goddess than you were into having a family."I'm going to pause here a moment to share that I wish I could have put a halt to this insulting conversation then and there, but I was shocked, humiliated and dumbfounded.In a condescending voice my employer went on to suggest that I ease people into my lifestyle and not mention it on a first date. That night on the bus ride home I cried, devastated that I had shared about my sacred journey with this man. I felt humiliated to be discussed as though I were a piece of property and then shamed for who I am. I was desolate, certain that that I would never find a man who would honour my path, let alone join me on it.Fast forward two months later and I was flying to New York, a whirlwind of a city where I met and instantly fell in love with my husband. As we sat at a busy diner the night we met he asked me similar questions to the blind date guy, except this time I felt at home and safe. I felt as though all of my life was being coated in pink gossamer. I just fell into a conversation about who and what I was, and he was enraptured. He compared me to his psychic mother and genuinely admired my work. Months later as we dated and then moved in together he would play guitar and lead "We all come from the Goddess..." in circles that I led. He would drop me off at Priestess circles and Goddess Gatherings and join me for events where men were welcomed.
Greek Hymns Honoring the Divine Feminine
The Orphic Hymn to Nature brings to light the age-old Mother Goddess of many names, the supreme Creatress, “dancing with whirling noiseless feet” her eternal dance of life and growth. It’s hard to find a more telling description of the Divine Feminine’s immense powers in all of the Hellenic literature!
I had envisioned the sit in being peaceful (which for the most part it was) and myself floating around on a cloud, wearing my baby, breastfeeding and napping, and, while I did nap and breastfed with her consistently I was definitely not floating nor was I wearing her. My stomach incision was too painful and at the moment that I was texting Melanie I was sitting on gauze pads sans pants or underwear oozing pus and blood onto the pad as my baby slept nestled in my arm. I was in shock from an operation that I wasn't expecting, new Motherhood hormones and that darn infected cyst. To top it all off, I was only 8 days into my 40 day sit~in I was starting to feel stir crazy.
A few weeks ago I was the co-host on a local radio show. Now, keep in mind that this program is on a local college station and the college is a private, Free Methodist, liberal arts school. Therefore, the managers of the radio station as well as a majority of the audience come from a fairly traditional, fundamental Christian mindset. When I co-host this show, I keep in mind the audience and try to speak their language without compromising who I am. The host of the program had decided to push boundaries and have a metaphysical themed show. He fancies himself a rebel but in reality is not.
Anyway, the main guest that evening was a woman who has written a couple of books about her channeled messages from Princess Diana and John Lennon. Granted, I am almost always initially skeptical of such things. I have been around long enough to know that it is possible that a given person would get messages from the other side of the veil. On the other hand, why is it so many people seem to get messages from a select few celebrities? Nevertheless, I proceeded to interview and ask her questions about the things she was saying in her book, particularly the one with messages from Princess Diana. The guest wanted to just read pages from her book, which was pretty boring radio. FINALLY, she took a breath and I was able to ask her about something she had just said....
Since opening this space a few weeks ago, I have been thinking more consciously about our journey to The Edge. I am grateful to have the space here to share how the light shines upon it for us all.
See, for much of my life I did not know what an “edge” was, or what expansive, fertile possibilities lay just beyond it. I did not know what type of path I would cut or even what tools I would need to access the raw, vulnerable parts of myself; eventually laying the groundwork upon the true self which would be born anew. I felt alone. I felt incapable of being able to come from a place of authentic expression. I had no idea what gifts I could offer this world.
Life was lived "safely" based on clean edges, organized processes, and a sense that I was doing the “right thing” with the barometer being the acknowledgement of those around me. I followed all of the "rules" and defined happiness by living up to others’ expectations. All the while there was a churning inside, an acidic buildup of knowing I was not dancing to my own rhythm. I was trying my damndest to be the “perfect” daughter, wife, mother, career woman, community serviceperson. Forget rhythm when living a life of constant white noise.
Oh, I was still in there, present with small pieces of it, definitely not all of it, a walking-dead from what I can now ascertain. I was superficially happy, not deeply satisfied. I was seeking a “something” to fill my hollow and was incredibly imbalanced internally. The external world was starting to show the stress of not being able to keep the charade going much longer.
The first of many lurches showing me a brighter reality hit me the day I found out my daughter had chosen me to carry her into this world. I did start to wake up that day, but it would be a long time before I had the courage to act. The next few years were spent still trying to play in the white noise, yet the core had started to break down. I was ready to exit stage left. I was ready to be done with all of the bullshit and move on.
Yet I had a child to raise. Her birth was my rebirth. She opened me up in profound ways and served as my grounding wire that first number of years as I learned how to stand again. I still felt alone, untrustworthy, unqualified, yet there was a spark which had been lit from within and She reminded me of that every single day.
The question remained though: how was I supposed to raise a child if I didn’t even know how to raise myself from the dead? The edge was slippery at times, but I learned to listen to the internal voice, to trust the compass. That journey began more than 12 years ago and every step has been a true blessing. Life continues to improve, become more joyful, more fulfilling, more honestly my own to claim in this lifetime.
See, The Edge is the familiar unknown. It is an invitation to remember who we are. It is about discovering our internal truths and then manifesting them into brilliant existence! My own familiar unknowns have shown me how deeply nourishing and joyful life can be! My edge has shown me I am here to love, nourish and support others from an incredibly deep space. BUT! If I am not loving, nourishing, and supporting myself, then what do I have left to give? The equation is simple, as is the life I am living. And I envision it to become easier and much simpler as time goes on.
The truth has been deeply revealing. It has led to unexpected and miraculous gifts along the way in the form of connecting and learning from others who open their hearts to their edge of familiar unknowns. The following poem was written and performed with one of those beautiful souls, my dear friend John DeLozier. You may also watch a video of the performance here. My cup truly runneth over.
The EdgeJohn DeLozier & Jennifer MillsSummer Rhythm Renewal, August 2012 The Within becomes limitless when I am with you.A roiling, boiling potential. Through the liquidous center, the tremors of vibration unsettle the sediment existence has produced.An uncontrollable force which can no longer be held within. Truly eyes know nothing yet reveal everything. The pulsing, rhythmic dance begins.The roiling emotions charged: a supernova state, heartfelt and open!The sacred seal is broken between the illusion of opposing forces. Suddenly, desolate and lightless as a black hole; nothingness; my mind cannot conceive.I have gone to my Edge;my toes on the precipice. Are you complete?Resistant: I hesitate, afraid of the unknown.My truth unspoken, constricted by the perpetual state of Doubt. Break yourself free from that constraint my friend!We are bigger than that!Join me in this leap of faith!Take my hand. So, the darkness was a shadow, dissipated by our light!Connected now are we.This bright-light confusion of the senses fades.The breath of light returns in the Light of Love.