For the second time in just a few weeks, a Goddess carrying a message of embracing my anger has come to visit. While it's a bit jarring, after spending last week contemplating inspiring art, just a little reflection made it clear to me that my anger often is the source of my inspiration. As an activist and advocate for a variety of social justice causes, it is often anger at injustice that sparks me to words and action. This in so many ways does not square with what we are taught about being "good women." After all, a "good woman" is never angry, takes things in stride, is always smiling and compliant. One of the biggest strawman arguments in the world is that of the "Angry Feminist" who is humorless and always raging incoherently at the latest imagined slight. What this ignores, of course, is that women and other marginalized groups often have very real, valid reasons for our anger, and have the right to express it. Anger, in short, is not always a negative emotion -- it can spur us to positive action, open dialogue, and facilitate healing when we learn how to work with it.

And so it is that Pele, Hawaiian volcano Goddess, comes dancing into my life this week, from the cards of my Goddess Inspiration Oracle:


Pele, from the Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr

Most people who know me would tell you that I have little trouble tapping my own anger. In fact, much of my inner work has been around finding ways to tap into emotions other than anger. However, I've also come to realize that feeling my anger and using it as energy, rather than letting it destroy me from within, is a great source of power for me. It's what has driven me to do the education, activism, and advocacy that is the center of so much of my life. So here are some questions I'll be working with this week, and which I hope you will also explore:

What does "anger" mean to me?

What does it feel like for me to be angry?

Does it frighten me when others express anger? Why?

Does my own anger frighten me? Why?

What messages did I get as a young girl about expressing anger?

What messages do I get today about expressing anger?

How can I reframe any negative or hurtful messages about expressing anger?

What am I most angry about right now?

How can I use this anger to spur me to action or change?