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#1 Beginning: The Wand July 3, 2019

Posted by wimynspeak in Sourceress: The Book of Fear.
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We begin her story where all good stories begin: at the beginning. But beginnings are controversial and nebulous at best, most being no more than a moment, really, too small for the eye to see, too brief even to take up the space of a word, a sound, too ephemeral and misunderstood to be agreed upon. And so we will choose this particular beginning from all the possibilities and begin our story a few moon cycles after the babe has slipped the confines of her mother’s watery womb and her father has danced under the stars singing, “It’s a girl! It’s a girl!” And all the universe has felt his joy, at least in that precious moment, for life goes on, does it not? and moments change, each a new beginning. Each a story in and of itself. Hence the confusion.

And so, as I said, we will begin here …

Once upon a time, as recently as long ago, in a nearby faraway place, which we shall, for want of a better name, call “home,” a young child, an infant still, lived with her parents. In this place where nothing ever changed and each moment was, as we’ve noted, different from the next, they had settled into their roles, the father opening his shop each morning, serving his loyal customers, and the mother caring for the child, often strapping the little one securely to her body and walking with her to meet the old women, the elders who huddled under the spreading branches of the great Grandmother Tree to once again tell their stories in the hope that they, the stories (for the women understood full well their own mortality), would be more likely to infinitely live on.

And just as the child would do herself one day in the not so distant future, the young mother loved hearing the old women’s stories, so different from the mundane tales of the everyday, for they told of a far distant time, when the stars burned hotter and time itself had a less slippery pace. And no matter how each story progressed or ended, no matter how the characters behaved or events transpired, no matter how it all turned out, the old women always finished their storytelling in the same way: they’d sigh, smile, and pronounce, “It is as it is.” And then they’d all nod, for they understood their acceptance was absolutely necessary for the wisdom within the stories to fully ripen.

And so the sun rose and set, rose and set, and then one morning, just as the steady sun rose once again, a stranger from an even farther far-away place came walking along the river, an old woman with bright skirts and jangling bangles on her wrists and ankles. Her scarves were dyed in colors never before seen in this part of the wide world, and she carried a small and colorful pack on her back. She was tired, for her journey had been a long one, and she stopped at a little pool at the edge of the river to wash the dust from her feet and splash cool water on her face. She was just slipping her sandals back on, leaning on the great Grandmother Tree for balance, when the elder women began to arrive, looking forward once again to the telling and the retelling of the stories, for therein, they knew, lay the magick.

When they saw the old woman, so colorfully dressed, a stranger so different from themselves, they stopped for a startled moment to take her measure, and then, sensing no malice within, they smiled and welcomed her as a sister. The stranger did not speak their words, but she made it known she was looking for a child, a babe in arms no more than a few moons into her terrestrial cycle. The elders invited the woman to sit with them underneath the great Grandmother Tree, for, they assured her, the child she was looking for would surely be along with her mother very soon.

And so it happened. The sun had barely shifted overhead in its journey across the sky when the young woman arrived, carrying her child in a sling across her belly. When she saw the stranger waiting with the elders, she smiled. It was as if she were meeting an old friend, though she was certain she had never laid eyes on the woman prior to this moment. They smiled at each other in silent recognition and when the baby stirred, her mother took her out of her sling and the child reached for the stranger in a way that made it clear to all present that here, for sure, was a kindred spirit. As the woman, now merely an almost stranger, took the child readily and comfortably into her arms, she pulled a long, colorful wand from her equally colorful pack. The wand sizzled like a hot pot over a flame and glowed with the silver shine of the moon when she gave it to the child, who immediately put it in her mouth, as children are wont to do. A startled chorus of women gasped in unison.

“What is it?” asked the young mother.

One of the older women, her crinkled eyes smoothed in the widening of wonder, whispered in her ear, “A Wand of Desire. I have never seen one, but I have heard many stories, passed down through the generations, enough to trust what my admittedly shadowed eyes reveal to me now.” The young woman, startled, immediately tried to take the wand from her daughter. “Oh, no!” she said, apologetically. “She’s chewing on it!” The merely-nearly strange old woman just smiled, patted the young mother’s hand, and pushed it gently away from the wand, shaking her head. The old woman closest to her whispered in the mother’s ear, “She wants her to have it, my dear, to do with as she will. It is for this reason only, it seems, this wise woman, this colorful sage, has come here. It is an auspicious gift, one many of us believed to be no more than a myth. And yet, our eyes do not lie. We see what there is to see. And this little one,” she continued, nodding toward the child, who was clutching the wand and laughing with the old woman who had bestowed her with its blessing, “will cut her teeth on the Wand of Desire. She will always know exactly what she wants in life.”

And so it was.

From that day forward, the Wand of Desire was nearly always clutched in the child’s fist, and when it was not, it could certainly be found within ready reach. At night the little girl placed the wand under her cheek, where she could taste it, smell it, hold it tight while she dreamed. If her mother ever worried that this was not an appropriate use for such a rare and precious object, she never said it aloud.

And so we come to the end of a scene, a segment of time, which itself does not stop, though the story seems to pause, an illusion, to be sure, for life does not pause, though it does change. So far, all is well with our girl and her parents, but because this is a story worth telling, we can be sure that this will not always and forever be so. Something must happen. But not yet. After all, our story is still only just beginning …

Copyright 2019 Linda Maree/Linda M. Gabriel

Playing … an exploration of surrender May 26, 2019

Posted by wimynspeak in Bee Write!, General.
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I was born magick in a world of logic and reason. Creativity was tolerated in children in the context of play, but the real world was the ultimate arbiter of life. When I was a little girl, I may have been allowed to draw moons and stars on my forehead with blue paint and golden glitter, but these kinds of antics were not tolerated in my grown-up self. “Play” was frivolous and must be put aside. I would have said then that I surrendered to authority, giving up on magick and settling into the mundane. But now I know, to have followed the magick would have been the surrender. All I did was give up on my true self. It was not surrender but betrayal. The worst kind of betrayal. And I have been working since then to make it right. To win back the trust of the one who should have been … always … the most important in the world to me. Myself. Once you lie to yourself, it is so much easier to lie to others. Once you betray yourself, betrayal becomes your imprisoner, your signature, the mask you wear, the face you show to the world. Others do not call it that – betrayal — for most wear the same kind of mask. We call it reality, the real world, just the way it is. And we are told we might as well accept it. Life is not fair. Surrender. Give up.

But true surrender is not a giving up, it is a giving in to a higher calling, a purpose. It is a type of courage that calls one to live from the heart, serving the voice within that tells us that there is infinitely more to life than what we can see. That magick still exists. That we ARE magick, and our magick serves a powerful energy that can only emanate from spirit. So, rather than weakness, rather than loss, to surrender is a means of service above and beyond any we thought capable of. Surrender calls us back to our essence, and there …

Playing … I am as a child again. My thin, straight red hair has been transformed, in my imagination, into long, black waves, thick and abundant. My skin has darkened somewhat and my bearing is regal. I feel exotic, different, and I relish my differentness. On my head sits a golden crown in the form of snakes, their heads rising above my forehead, where I used to draw the moon and stars, proclaiming to all my worth. I wear a long white gown, so that I feel as if I am enrobed in clouds, my power as wide as the sky. In my right hand I carry a long sword, but it is gripped casually, a relic from the past that I treasure for what it has taught me, but it is not the source of my power. It is not who I am. Some have called me princess, but I am no prince-ess, no lesser-than prince. No priest-ess. No god-dess. None of these. I am neither s\he nor fe-male. I am simply who and what I choose to be in the moment I surrender to my choice. Nameless until such time a name is possible. Until new words are created, new vocabularies formed, new tongues proclaimed throughout a land revived and reborn.

Playing … I am as a child again. My thin, straight red hair has been transformed and my head is topped with tight black curls. My skin has darkened and my body broader, huskier, more muscular than before. My voice has deepened and drips with authority. I carry no weapon, and yet I feel that the moon and stars would bow at my feet, were I, priest of all that is sacred and holy, to command it. A channel of energy rises through me, and I have a choice: to follow that which is seductive and promises the kind of power and authority that most men dream about. To be the saver of souls, the changer of lives, the maker of rules, the arbiter of life … mine and others. Or to surrender to the unknown. The unseen path that draws me with the power of the soul and the dread of responsibility. The path of service. The path of the change rather than the changer, giving way to the moment with acceptance and a willingness to act when it is time to act, to be when it is time to be. The path of vulnerability. The path of courage.

Playing … I am as a child again. My thin, straight red hair has been transformed and my head is topped with tight black curls. My skin has darkened even more and my body is long, lean muscular. Around my head, a white halo-band of beads and tassels. Strung beads hang from my neck, crisscross my breasts, and shells encircle my waist and my feet, marking me as a dancer. My weapon, if you want to call it that, is my joy. If I could, I would use it to bludgeon others into surrendering to this celebration, giving in to the exuberant persistence of life. But surrender can neither be forced nor coerced, and so I dance. It is no more than an invitation, but it is what we know to do, we mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters of the world and the spirit. This is the story we carry within us, the story we use to paint the sky with rainbows, to draw the moon and stars on our foreheads, to tattoo our bodies with the scars that mark us as courageous in the face of our failures and steadfast in our vulnerability. We dance a reminder of the blessing of surrender and the power of choice.

— Linda Maree

Grey Cloud August 2, 2015

Posted by wimynspeak in Bee Write!, General.
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This grey cloud that seems to follow me turns out to be laden with gifts. At first glance, they are not apparent, but when one is followed by a dark cloud as long as I have been, one tends to look for deeper messages, if only to avoid the tedium.

So today, when the new neighbors show up uninvited, and me with no tea or biscuits to offer them (lack being part of the grey tedium of “not enough”), I grasp at the gift that dangles before me and venture to announce that I never serve real food in my home, only the imaginary kind, which, I tell them, is the best kind. I paint a picture of magical tea parties that are so much better and more filling and satisfying than what they might call the real thing.

I bring out the best china, meaning the pieces that are not so badly chipped, and pretend to steep the tea and mime serving the cakes and dainty little sandwiches, all the while weaving a story of fairies and wood nymphs, and unicorns so that even though it is only a made-up story, they all laugh and play along. When they finally leave, they are biting and licking their lips, searching for the lingering sweet taste of a magical afternoon.

Later, as the night grows dark and the grey cloud melts into a deep velvet sky, I close my eyes and imagine the tea and biscuits settling in my stomach. The rumbles inside me dissipate until the only sound I hear is distant thunder. Even with my eyes closed, and despite the clouds, I can tell the moon is full and shining through the open window, illuminating the dishes on the table and crumbs of magical food fallen to the floor that I have yet to clear away.

I think of a dog I have always wanted since I was a child: medium size, black, with a wise and kind face that evokes both curiosity and stability. She is wearing a lovely jeweled collar and I call her to me by clicking my tongue and offering her a bite of sandwich. I motion to her that it is okay if she wants to lick up any crumbs she finds on the floor. We spend the next hour cleaning up my little room together and when I finally open my eyes, I can still picture the palace that fits within these four grey walls; still feel the dog’s slippery tongue on my hand.

I read, one time, about a village in Japan where they used to sacrifice a black dog to call in the black rain clouds. I have done the opposite. I have used my dark cloud to call in my black dog. No worries. I am well enough to know this is all happening in my imagination; hungry enough to know that, for now, it is sufficient.

The dog comes to me again as soon as I close my eyes. Once again the rumbling in my belly becomes the portent of an approaching storm and I can imagine the dog being caught in it, so I whistle to call her to me and she comes right away. I am lying now on a mat on the floor and the dog lies down next to me. Her furry warmth stops my shivering and I feel safe next to her.

But I do not sleep right away. I have always loved storms and wait with anticipation as the rumbles grow louder, which, of course, they do. I think about my neighbors and our tea party and wonder if they are still savoring the sweetness of our communion, as I am. Drowsily, I lay one hand on the dog’s head and for a moment consider what to name her, for in all the years of wishing and hoping for such a companion, I have not done so. And then I realize that this is not my task to do. The dog has a name and it is for her to reveal it to me when she is ready. I fall asleep, finally, content in this realization.

When I awake, though, the dog is gone, the sky still dark and rumbling, and I feel my hunger in a way I hadn’t before. I put an imaginary pot of oatmeal on the stove and while it simmers I stand at the window looking out on what my mother used to call a “toad-y” kind of day. The grey cloud still hovers over my little cottage, but the rest of the sky is an odd green hue that brings forth visions of nauseous sea voyages and the bumpy backs of the great bullfrogs by the pond.

I am reminded of a long-ago day just like today. I am getting ready for school and the smell of oatmeal with cinnamon fills my nostrils. My mother loved days like this — overly wet days that would call forth the tree frogs to set up a chorus and sing to me on the way to school, my belly full of warm oatmeal, my imagination fueled by the grey clouds, a loyal black dog at my heels.

The Hive of HERstory: Women BEEing Wimyn January 3, 2015

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logoThe Hive of HERstory: Women BEEing Wimyn

Intuitive collage workshop for women, Saturday, January 17, 2015

She is hidden in the depths of the shadow in the dark forgotten hive, where the long-stilled voices of generations of sisters awaken and call to her. “Dig deeper,” they say, “and remember!” She does, her vulnerability baring her heart to the sweet bee medicine of sistership: Women BEEing Wimyn in the cosmic cycle of HERstory. Silent until now, she stands at the edge of the dark, finds her voice, and speaks . . .

Come join us in the hive as we use the intuitive collage process, along with simple creative writing prompts, to connect to our own powerful ancestral wimyn-voices.

Open Pricing * Please pay generously according to your means.

Advance registration is required. Let me know if you can join us!

Date/Time: Saturday, January 17, 2015, from 2:00-5:00PM

Location: Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota, FL

MoonRise Oracle: Exploring the Cave of HERstory November 11, 2014

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LogoMoonRise Oracle: Exploring the Cave of HERstory

Intuitive Collage Workshop for Women

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Clouds moved across the wintering sky obscuring much of the waning moon’s remaining light, yet her feet found the frosty path with surety, followed it with precision. When she came to the mouth of the cave, she stopped only to mark herself with the precious scented oils, given to her by the crone, and then entered the dark passage without fear or hesitation. Inside, her eyes adjusted quickly as she made her way to the center of the great cavern. There she found an earthen pit, with a fire laid out, waiting for the spark she carried to light it. Closing her eyes, she imagined a bright spark leaping from her heart to her lips, and when she opened her eyes and blew on the kindling, the fire erupted in lively flames that caused previously unseen images painted on the walls of the cave to dance, telling her their stories . . .

Come join us as we use the intuitive collage process to enter the cave of HERstory and explore the stories that yearn to be told.

Open Pricing *   Please pay generously according to your means.

Advance registration is required. Let me know if you can join us!

Date/Time:  Saturday, November 15, from 2:00-4:30PM

Location: Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota

 

Awakening August 30, 2014

Posted by wimynspeak in General, The Hive.
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She is offered the cup, takes it in both hands, and drinks deeply. Ancient stars explode in her head and her vision clears to a crystal clarity that allows her to see what has been unseen, hidden right in front of her, within her, all along. The moon shines full and a cascade of starlight illuminates the scene before her: Her childself who still believes in fairies and magick, eye-to-eye with the child whose stories have become clothed in practical concerns and the mandatory adherence to dry, out-dated customs long past their usefulness. She — this young, purposeful, practical self — stands strong but bewildered, wanting so badly to be her “other,” to don her fairy wings and fly . . .

Fast forward . . . 40, 50, 60 years, it matters not. It is no accident that she has been led to this place again, this point in time/no time, every moment, every life experience strung together on a necklace of pearlescent wonder. She wants to reach out, trust herself. Trust her own true nature to lead her on a path of healing and a bliss that transforms not only herself, but the world — the planet, her sisters and brothers, all beings. To know the self that sprinkles fairy dust onto the chaos and stands back to watch the result: A world in which we all reach out for each other — to help and be helped — without recrimination or judgement, but rather with joy for the opportunity to love deeply, freely, completely.

Her magickal self, the fairy child, laughs at her hesitation and reaches for her hand. “You’re making this too hard,” she says. “It’s simple really: Remember you are magick! Just come with me, spread your wings, and dance, dance, dance!”

Collage for Writing: The Write Path August 2, 2014

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logoCollage for Writing: The Write Path

A special COLLAGE and writing Workshop for Women

Saturday, August 16, from 2:00-5:00PM

The woman came upon a path that led her into a dark forest, which was alive and teeming with activity. Here was a big black bear telling a story to a rambunctious group of young red foxes. There in the thicket was a gentle deer singing softly to her best friend, a long-eared rabbit; and up in the tallest tall tree an old owl was deep in conversation with a large redheaded woodpecker. Just ahead, the woman could see the end of the path, where the dark woods opened into a clearing and there in the moonlight sat The Storyteller, beckoning . . .

Whether you want to write or just want a way for more deeply understanding the messages in your collages, come join us as we explore the Write Path of imagination and discover our inner storytellers.

No collage or writing experience necessary. All materials provided.

Open Pricing *   Thank you for paying generously, according to your heart and means.

Advance registration is required. Please let me know if you can join us: honeycombmoon@gmail.com

If you are on Facebook, check out this Collage Workshop Event on the Honeycomb Moon page. (And you might “Like” the page while you are there, too 🙂 )  Thanks!

Location: Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota

High Moon Tea July 16, 2014

Posted by wimynspeak in Absurd Shorts, Bee Write!, General.
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The duck waddled in a circle at the edge of the ocean at low tide, mumbling an incantation to the moon, who, for her part, threw down a silver mantle at the duck’s web feet and invited her up for tea. As soon as the duck’s feet touched it, the silvery mantle curled up, swallowed the duck, and disappeared. I watched and hoped this was a magical mechanism for reaching the moon, secretly wishing it had been I who had been invited by the moon for tea.

Wanting to see what the duck had placed in the circle and perhaps glean some of her secret, I crept out of my hiding place in the beach grass. I hurried to the water’s edge, but the tide suddenly turned, wiping out the duck’s circle, and leaving me wet to my knees.

When I stepped backwards out of the water, I found myself standing next to a large ghost crab, who had dug a hole in the sand big enough for both of us. She invited me in for tea. “Well, you’re not the moon,” I said, “but I will come for tea.”

The crab pinched me and said, “Don’t be cheeky or I will un-invite you.”

I apologized and followed the crab into the sand tunnel, surprised at how spacious it was inside. We reached a deep inner room where there was a comfy couch for me to sit on and a small fire where a kettle simmered.

“I only have chamomile tea,” the crab said, “but I do have honey of you’d like.”

I nodded and the crab filled my cup, stirred in the honey, and then urged me to drink up with some speed. She rushed to take the cup as soon as I’d swallowed the last sip and then hurried me back through the tunnel. I found myself back on the beach and saw that the duck had returned, too.

“How was your tea?” I shouted to the duck over the sound of the waves.

“It felt rushed,” said the duck. “I thought the moon would be more gracious, more companionable, but she seemed to be in a hurry and the tea was weak, lukewarm, and unsweetened. I left as soon as I got the chance.”

“How did you do that?” I asked, remembering that the moon was many thousands of miles away and there was no silvery mantle on the waters on which to slide back.

“Oh, it was easy,” said the duck. “I just waited for the moon to slip behind a cloud and then I flew away in the dark. I hid myself behind cloud after cloud as best I could and I arrived back here without incident.” The duck shook her head. “I don’t think she’s even noticed that I’m gone.”

Womb-en: To Be En-wombed July 1, 2014

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In the center is womb-en:

reborn,

arising from the salty waters

of her own womb,

the ocean of life

within all womb-en.

 

The stories,

written while yet asleep,

fall away and become

en-wombed in the depths,

gestated,

nurtured,

brought to maturity

and finally released,

powerfully birthed in a flow of

blood and water,

milk and honey,

a sweeter life than, dreaming,

dreamed possible.

Old Woman Song February 1, 2014

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As secrets strengthened, shadows lengthened, and a deep bewitching darkness settled on the land, the old woman raised her voice and began to sing. Hers was not melodic, was not consistent in key or pitch, but it was strong and it rang with truth — a truth that had been lost for generations.  The old woman herself did not know the song, but her body remembered, and so she sang.

As her voice was carried on the currents of the wind that wound and spiraled through the village, into the gardens, around the well, even seeping into the cracks and crevices in doors and windows and walls, people began to awaken. Herbs and flowers hummed, calling the bees to come out, into the night. Moths and butterflies flitted about on the notes of the song, and the dark moon smiled her wan light, ultimately relinquishing her power to the stars, splashed brilliantly on the canvas of the midnight sky.

The old woman sang on through the night, her voice becoming stronger as her body grew more tired. The people had joined in, singing the strange words and dancing to the strange tune with steps they had never learned, but seemed to know.

The children appeared to understand what was going on, though they didn’t have the words to describe it to their parents. On this night, no one slept, no one tired, except the old woman whose body was the conduit for the magick that infused them.

When morning came, the people came out of their trance, looking sheepishly at each other as if they had been caught being foolish. They laughed, their eyes averted, and began to make their way back to their homes.

Only the children stayed with the old woman, who had fallen into a deep sleep.

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